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[394]

The song of the Vermonters, 1779.

[Written during school-days, and published anonymously in 1833. The secret of authorship was not discovered for nearly sixty years.]


     Ho—all to the borders! Vermonters, come down,
With your breeches of deerskin and jackets of brown;
     With your red woollen caps, and your moccasins, come,
To the gathering summons of trumpet and drum.

Come down with your rifles! Let gray wolf and fox
     Howl on in the shade of their primitive rocks;
Let the bear feed securely from pig-pen and stall;
     Here's two-legged game for your powder and ball.

On our south came the Dutchmen, enveloped in grease;
     And arming for battle while canting of peace;
On our east, crafty Meshech has gathered his band
     To hang up our leaders and eat up our land.

Ho—all to the rescue! For Satan shall work
     No gain for his legions of Hampshire and York!
They claim our possessions—the pitiful knaves—
     The tribute we pay shall be prisons and graves!

Let Clinton and Ten Broek, with bribes in their hands,
     Still seek to divide and parcel our lands;
We've coats for our traitors, whoever they are;
     The warp is of feathers—the filling of tar.

Does the ‘old Bay State’threaten? Does Congress complain?
     Swarms Hampshire in arms on our borders again?
Bark the war-dogs of Britain aloud on the lake—
     Let 'em come; what they can they are welcome to take.

What seek they among us? The pride of our wealth
     Is comfort, contentment, and labor, and health,
And lands which, as Freemen, we only have trod,
     Independent of all, save the mercies of God.

Yet we owe no allegiance, we bow to no throne,
     Our ruler is law, and the law is our own;
Our leaders themselves are our own fellow-men,
     Who can handle the sword, or the scythe, or the pen.

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