On the Conqueror of America Shut Up in Boston

by Philip Freneau

Philip Freneau

REBELS you are—the British champion cries;
Truth, stand thou forth, and tell Tom. Gage he lies—
Rebels!—and see, this mock imperial Lord
Already threats those rebels with the cord—
THE hour draws nigh, the glass is almost run,
When truth must shine, and scoundrels be undone,
When this base miscreant shall forbear to s•eer,
And curse his taunts and bitter insults here.
IF to controul the cunning of a knave,
Freedom adore, and scorn the name of slave,
If to protest against a tyrant's laws,
And arm for vengeance in a righteous cause,
B• deem'd Rebellion—'tis a harmless thing,
This bug-bear name, like death, has lost its sting.
AMERICANS, at freedom's fane adore,
But trust to British clemency no more;
The generous genius of the isle has fled,
And left a mere impostor in his stead—
If conquer'd, rebels, their past records show,
Receive no mercy from this parent foe—
And even the grave, that sacred haunt of peace,
Where Nature gives the woes of man to cease,
Vengeance will search—and mangled corpses there
Be rais'd to feast the armies of the air.—
If Britain conquers, help us, heav'n, to fly,
Lend me your wings, ye ravens of the sky—
If Britain conquers—we exist no more:
These lands shall redden with their children's gore,
Who, turn'd to slaves, their fruitless toils shall moan,
Toils in these fields that once they call'd their own!
TO arms! to arms!—and let the trusty sword
Decide who best deserves the hangman's cord,
Nor think the hills of Canada too bleak,
When desperate Freedom is the prize you seek;
For that the voice of honour bids you go
O'er frozen lakes and mountains wrapt in snow,
No toils can daunt the warlike and the bold,
They scorn all heat or wave-congealing cold;
Haste, to your tents in fetters bring
These slaves that serve their tyrant of a king,
So just, so virtuous is your cause, I say
Hell must prevail if Britain wins the day.

Last updated January 11, 2023