Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Sir Henry Clinton’s Invitation
By Philip Freneau (1752–1832)
 
COME, gentlemen tories, firm, loyal, and true,
Here are axes and shovels, and something to do;
      For the sake of our king,
      Come, labour and sing:
You left all you had for his honour and glory,        5
And he will remember the suffering tory.
      We have, it is true,
      Some small work to do;
      But here’s for your pay
      Twelve coppers a day;        10
And never regard what the rebels may say,
But throw off your jerkins and labour away.
 
To raise up the rampart, and pile up the wall,
To pull down old houses, and dig the canal,
      To build and destroy,        15
      Be this your employ;
In the daytime to work at our fortifications,
And steal in the night from the rebels your rations:
      The king wants your aid,
      Not empty parade;        20
      Advance to your places,
      Ye men of long faces,
Nor ponder too much on your former disgraces;
This year, I presume, will quite alter your cases.
 
Attend at the call of the fifer and drummer;        25
The French and the rebels are coming next summer,
      And forts we must build,
      Though tories are kill’d;
Then courage, my jockies, and work for your king,
For if you are taken, no doubt you will swing;        30
      If York we can hold,
      I’ll have you enroll’d;
      And after you’re dead,
      Your names may be read
As who for their monarch both labour’d and bled,        35
And ventured their necks for their beef and their bread.
 
’Tis an honour to serve the bravest of nations,
And be left to be hang’d in their capitulations;
      Then scour up your mortars,
      And stand to your quarters:        40
’Tis nonsense for tories in battle to run,
They need never fear sword, halbert, or gun;
      Their hearts should not fail ’em,
      No balls will assail ’em;
      Forget your disgraces        45
      And shorten your faces,
For ’tis true as the gospel, believe it or not,
Who are born to be hang’d will never be shot.
 
 
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