Digital Tradition Mirror

The Dying Sergeant

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The Dying Sergeant

Come all you heroes, where'er you be,
That walk by land or sail by sea,
Come hear the words of a dying man
And surely you'll remember them.

In '76 that fatal year
As by our signal doth appear
Our fleet set sail for America
Twas on the fourteenth day of May.

Twas a dark and dismal time
Our fleet set sail for the northern line
Where drums did beat and the trumpet sound
And into Boston we are bound

And when to Boston we did come
We thought the noise of the British drum
Would drive the rebels from that place
And fill their hearts with sore distress

But to our woeful, sad surprise
We saw them like grasshoppers rise
To fight like heroes much in rage-
Which sorely frightened General Gage.

Like lions roaring for their prey
They fear no danger, no not they
True British blood runs in their veins
While them with courage it sustains.

We sailed to York, as you've been told,
With the loss of many a Briton bold,
And there we many a traitor found
False to the land where he belonged.

They told us 'twas a garden place
And that our armies might with ease
Burn down their towns, lay waste their lands
In spite of all their boasting bands.

A garden place it was indeed
And in it grew many a bitter weed
Which did pull down our brightest hopes
And sorely wounded our British troops.

'Tis now December, the seventeenth day,
Since we set sail for America,
Full fifteen thousand have been slain-
Bold British heroes on the plain.

Now I've received my mortal wound.
Adieu unto old English ground.
My wife and children they'll mourn for me
While I lie cold in America.

Fight on, fight on, American boys,
But ne'er heed bold Britain's thundering noise.
Maintain your rights, years after year.
God's on your side, you need not fear.

The glory of Great Britain's soil
Is now eclipsed for a while
But it shall shine bright in meridian year
Although our king is most severe.

His crown shall fade most certainly
A reward for all his cruelty
America shall her rights maintain
While proud cold England sinks with shame.

From The New Green Mountain Songster, Flanders et al
Collected from Ellen Nye Lawrence

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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