Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WAR AND WASHINGTON, by JONATHAN MITCHELL SEWALL



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WAR AND WASHINGTON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Vain britons, boast no longer with proud indignity
Last Line: Pay homage to america and glorious washington!
Subject(s): American Revolution


VAIN Britons, boast no longer with proud indignity,
By land your conquering legions, your matchless strength at sea,
Since we, your braver sons incensed, our swords have girded on,
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza, for war and Washington.

Urged on by North and vengeance those valiant champions came,
Loud bellowing Tea and Treason, and George was all on flame,
Yet sacrilegious as it seems, we rebels still live on,
And laugh at all their empty puffs, huzza for Washington!

Still deaf to mild entreaties, still blind to England's good,
You have for thirty pieces betrayed your country's blood.
Like Esop's greedy cur you'll gain a shadow for your bone,
Yet find us fearful shades indeed inspired by Washington.

Mysterious! unexampled! incomprehensible!
The blundering schemes of Britain their folly, pride, and zeal,
Like lions how ye growl and threat! mere asses have you shown,
And ye shall share an ass's fate, and drudge for Washington!

Your dark unfathomed councils our weakest heads defeat,
Our children rout your armies, our boats destroy your fleet,
And to complete the dire disgrace, cooped up within a town,
You live the scorn of all our host, the slaves of Washington!

Great Heaven! is this the nation whose thundering arms were hurled,
Through Europe, Afric, India? whose navy ruled a world?
The lustre of your former deeds, whole ages of renown,
Lost in a moment, or transferred to us and Washington!

Yet think not thirst of glory unsheaths our vengeful swords
To rend your bands asunder, or cast away your cords,
'T is heaven-born freedom fires us all, and strengthens
each brave son,
From him who humbly guides the plough, to god-like Washington.

For this, oh could our wishes your ancient rage inspire,
Your armies should be doubled, in numbers, force, and fire.
Then might the glorious conflict prove which best deserved the boon,
America or Albion, a George or Washington!

Fired with the great idea, our Fathers' shades would rise,
To view the stern contention, the gods desert their skies;
And Wolfe, 'midst hosts of heroes, superior bending down,
Cry out with eager transport, God save great Washington!

Should George, too choice of Britons, to foreign realms apply,
And madly arm half Europe, yet still we would defy
Turk, Hessian, Jew, and Infidel, or all those powers in one,
While Adams guards our senate, our camp great Washington!

Should warlike weapons fail us, disdaining slavish fears,
To swords we'll beat our ploughshares, our pruning-hooks to spears,
And rush, all desperate, on our foe, nor breathe till battle won,
Then shout, and shout America! and conquering Washington!

Proud France should view with terror, and haughty Spain revere,
While every warlike nation would court alliance here;
And George, his minions trembling round dismounting from his throne
Pay homage to America and glorious Washington!





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