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Onward must be our battle cry,
Our all is on the venture cast,
To march to death or victory.
No backward glance, no base retreat,
When we our country's foemen meet!”
Then crying, “Follow where I lead,
I ask you naught I may not do;”
Brave Rousseau, springing from his steed,
Marched proudly through the waters blue;
Her clasping arms the river pressed
Around the hero's fearless breast.
The morning sunbeams slightly glanced
Along the shining path he sped,
And swift the gallant hosts advanced,
All following where their chieftain led:
While streamed aloft their banner brave,
Borne proud above the dashing wave.
High over head the glittering arms
Each warrior held with martial pride;
While loud as battle's wild alarms
Rung shout on shout along the tide;
Each hill flung back the rallying cry
“On, on to death or victory.”
Oh! lofty words not idly said,
For fierce the fight and red the field,
And fallen many a noble head
E'er Rousseau and his heroes yield.
Then, soldiers, in the gallant fight
May God defend and save the right.
Oh country! for whose sacred cause
Such patriot spirits are to bleed;
Oh country! for whose blessed laws
All that is pure and holy plead--
Before thee well may traitors quail,
Thy cause is just, and must prevail!
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