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tread these sacred floors ? Fallen by the hands of vindictive assassins, they swell the horrors of the sanguinary scene. Loyalty stands on tiptoe at the shocking recollection, while justice, virtue, honor, patriotism become suppliants for immoderate vengeance: The whole soul clamours for arms, and is on fire to attack the brutal banditti, we fly agonizing to the horrid aceldama, we gaze on the mangled corses of our brethren, and grinning furies glotting over their carnage; the hostile attitude of the miscreant murderers, redoubles our resentment, and makes revenge a virtue.

BY heaven they die! Thus nature spoke, and the swoln heart leap'd to execute the dreadful purpose; dire was the interval of rage, fierce was the conflict of the soul. In that important hour, did not the stalking ghosts of our stern forefather's, point us to bloody deeds of vengeance? did not the consideration of our expiring LIBERTIES, impel us to remorseless havock? But hark! the guardian God of New-England issues his awful mandate. "PEACE BE STILL," hush'd was the bursting war, the louring tempest frowned it's rage away. Confidence in that God, beneath whose wing we shelter all our cares, that blessed confidence released the dastard the cowering prey: With haughty scorn we refused to become their executioners, and nobly gave them to the wrath of heaven: But words can poorly paint the horrid scene—Defenceless, prostrate, bleeding countrymen—the piercing, agonizing groans —the mingled moan of weeping relatives and friends :—These best can speak; to rouse the luke-warm into noble zeal, to fire the zealous into manly rage; against the foul oppression, of quartering troops, in populous cities, in times of peace.

Thou who yon bloody walk shalt traverse, there
Where troops of Britain's King, on Britain's Sons,
Discharg'd the leaden vengeance; pass not on
E'er thou hast blest their memory, and paid
Those hallowed tears, which soothe the virtuous dead;
O stranger! Stay thee, and the scene around
Contemplate well, and if perchance thy home,
Salute thee with a father's honor'd name,
Go call thy Sons-instruct them what a debt
They owe their ancestors, and make them swear
To pay it, by transmitting down entire
Those sacred rights to which themselves were born.
Benjamin Church, An Oration (Boston, 1773), 18-20.

15. “Hail Happy Day When Fair

Freedom Rose" (1773)


A negro poetess, befriended by Washington.

HAIL, happy day, when smiling like the morn, Fair Freedom rose New-England to adorn: The northern clime beneath her genial ray, Dartmouth, congratulates thy blissful sway:

Elate with hope her race no longer mourns,
Each soul expands, each grateful bosom burns,
While in thine hand with pleasure we behold
The silken reins, and Freedom's charms unfold.
Long lost to realms beneath the northern skies
She shines supreme, while hated faction dies :
Soon as appear'd the Goddess long desir'd,
Sick at the view, she languish'd and expir'd:
Thus from the splendors of the morning light
The owl in sadness seeks the caves of night.
No more, America, in mournful strain
Of wrongs, and grievance unredress’d complain,
No longer shall thou dread the iron chain,
Which wanton Tyranny with lawless hand
Had made, and with it meant t'enslave the land.

Should you, my lord, while you peruse my song,
Wonder from whence my love of Freedom sprung,
Whence flow these wishes for the common good,
By feeling hearts alone best understood,
I, young in life, by seeming cruel fate
Was snatch'd from Afric's fancy'd happy seat:
What pangs excruciating must molest,
What sorrows labour in my parent's breast?
Steel'd was that soul and by no misery mov'd
That from a father seiz'd his babe belov’d:
Such, such my case. And can I then but pray
Others may never feel tyrannic sway?

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Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects (London, 1773), 73-4.

16. "Divided We Fall, United We

Stand” (1773)

An English immigrant and one of the boldest advocates of independence. Later member of the French Convention.

To Columbia, who gladly reclined at her ease,
On Atlantic's broad bosom, lie smiling in peace,
Minerva flew hastily, sent from above, [Jove:
And addrest her this message from thundering

Rouse, quickly awake,

Your Freedom's at stake, Storms arise, your renown's Independence to

shake, Then lose not a moment, my aid I will lend, If your sons will assemble your Rights to defend. Roused Columbia rose up, and indignant declared, That no nation she had wrong'd, and no nation

she fear'd, That she wished not for war, but if war were her

fate, She would rally up souls independent and great.

Then tell mighty Jove,

That we quickly will prove, We deserve the protection he'll send from

above; For ne'er shall the sons of America bend, But united their Rights and their Freedom defend. Minerva smiled cheerfully as she withdrew, Enraptured to find her Americans true, "For," said she, "our sly Mercury oft times

reports, That your sons are divided”—Columbia retorts,

“Tell that vile god of thieves,

His report but deceives, And we care not what madman such nonsense

believes, For ne'er shall the sons of America bend, But united their Rights and their Freedom de


Jove rejoiced in Columbia such union to see,
And swore by old Styx she deserved to be free;
Then assembled the Gods, who all gave consent,
Their assistance if needful her ill to prevent;

Mars arose, shook his armour,

And swore his old Farmer Should ne'er in his country see ought that could

harm her, For ne'er should the sons of America bend, But united their Rights and their Freedom defend. Minerva resolved that her Aegis she'd lend, And Apollo declared he their cause would defend, Old Vulcan an armour would forge for their aid, More firm than the one for Achilles he made.

Jove vow'd he'd prepare,

A compound most rare,
Of courage, and union, a bountiful share;

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