Sir Harry's Call

by Philip Freneau

Philip Freneau

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,
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,
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—
Be this your employ,
In the day time to work at our fortifications,
And steal in the night from the rebels your rations
The king wants your aid
Not empty parade;
Advance to your places
Ye men of long faces,
Nor ponder too much of your former disgraces,
This year, I presume, will quite alter your cases.
Attend, at the call of the fifer and drummer,
The French and the rebels are coming next summer,
And forts we must build
Though Torses are kill'd—
Then courage, my jockies, and work for your king,
For if you are taken no doubt you will swing—
If York we can hold
I'll have you enroll'd;
And after you're dead
Your names shall be read
As who for their monarch both labour'd and bled,
And ventur'd their necks for their beef and their braaz.
'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,
'Tis nonsense for Tories in battle to run,
They never need fear sword, halberd, or gun;
Their hearts should not fail 'em,
No bails will assail 'em,
Forget your disgraces
And shorten your races,
For 'tis true as the gospel, believe it or not,
Who are born to be hang'd will never be shot.

Last updated January 11, 2023