Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Battle of Baltimore
 
OLD Ross, Cockburn, and Cochrane too,
  And many a bloody villain more,
Swore with their bloody savage crew,
  That they would plunder Baltimore.
But General Winder being afraid        5
  That his militia would not stand,
He sent away to crave the aid
  Of a few true Virginians.
    Then up we rose with hearts elate,
    To help our suffering sister state.        10
 
When first our orders we received,
  For to prepare without delay,
Our wives and sweethearts for to leave,
  And to the army march away.
Although it grieved our hearts full sore,        15
  To leave our sweet Virginia shore,
We kiss’d our sweethearts o’er and o’er,
  And march’d like true Virginians.
    Adieu awhile, sweet girls adieu,
    With honour we’ll return to you.        20
 
With rapid marches on we went,
  To leave our sweet Virginia shore,
No halt was made, no time was spent,
  Till we arrived at Baltimore.
The Baltimoreans did us greet,        25
  The ladies clapt their lily-white hands,
Exclaiming as we pass’d the street,
  Welcome, ye brave Virginians.
    May Heaven all your foes confound,
    And send you home with laurels crown’d.        30
 
We had not been in quarters long,
  Before we heard the dread alarms,
The cannon roar’d, the bells did ring,
  The drum did beat to arms, to arms.
Then up we rose to face our foes,        35
  Determined to meet them on the strand,
And drive them back from fair Freedom’s shore,
  Or die like brave Virginians.
    In heaven above we placed our trust,
    Well knowing that our cause is just.        40
 
Then Ross he landed at North Point,
  With seven thousand men or more,
And swore by that time next night,
  That he would be in Baltimore.
But Striker met him on the strand,        45
  Attended by a chosen band,
Where he received a fatal shot,
  From a brave Pennsylvanian—
    Whom Heaven directed to the field,
    To make this haughty Briton yield.        50
 
Then Cockburn he drew up his fleet,
  To bombard Fort McHenry,
A thinking that our men, of course,
  Would take affright and run away.
The fort was commanded by a patriotic band,        55
  As ever graced fair freedom’s land,
And he who did the fort command
  Was a true blue Virginian.
    Long may we have brave Armstead’s name
    Recorded on the book of fame.        60
 
A day and a night they tried their might,
  But found their bombs did not prevail,
And seeing their army put to flight,
  They weigh’d their anchor and made sail,
Resolving to return again,        65
  To execute their former plan;
But if they do, they’ll find us still
  That we are brave Virginians.
    And they shall know before they’ve done,
    That they are not in Washington.        70
 
But now their shipping’s out of sight,
  And each man takes a parting glass,
Drinks to his true love and heart’s delight,
  His only joy and bosom friend,
For I might as well drink a health,        75
  For I hate to see good liquor stand,
That America may always boast,
  That we are brave Virginians.
 
 
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