1795.12 - "THE ARMED YEOMAN: a New Song."

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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1795.12
THE ARMED YEOMAN: a New Song.
“Sir William Young, Bart.”
[William Young][1]
The European Magazine, XXVII (May 1795), pp. 346-349

The Music adapted for the Harpsichord, by Z. Wivill, Harpsichord and Singing Master, at Bray, near Maidenhead, Berks.

I.

Yeomen, attend, who sword in hand
    Stand forth, your country's glory,
Who quit the plough to guard the land,
    Come listen to my story:
Listen how France is still the foe
    Of Britain's Constitution!
King, or Republicans, we know
    In this, no Revolution.

       Chorus.

These Frenchmen boast they'll hither come,
    And mighty are in word, Sirs;
But who invades a Briton's home,
    Shall feel a Briton's sword, Sirs!

II.

They say they will, so kind and good,
    Give freedom to all people;
Free, they shall be, to bathe in blood,
    Free, to burn church and steeple;
Free, to lose all that's dear, and then
    Free, to keep what they have, Sirs;
Free, nor to think nor act as men,
    Free, to be France's slaves, Sirs.

       Chorus.

These Frenchmen boast, &c.

III.

Britons well know, and e'er have known,
    That freedom ne'er was given,
But to those deserve the boon,
    And then's the gift of Heaven.
The virtuous, brave, and kind, are free,
    In this alone confin'd, Sirs,
They cannot false, or cruel be,
    They cannot change their mind, Sirs.

       Chorus.

We will not change, so let them come,
    And mighty be in, &c.

IV.

Yeomen attend, your liberty
    Has no fine-spun solution,
But has a noble invent'ry
    Within the Constitution:
Has never master, but the laws,
    Which house, as castle, guard, Sirs;
And in the rich and poor man's cause,
    Give equally award, Sirs.

Chorus.

These laws we'll keep; no let them come,
    And mighty be in word, Sirs, &c.

V.

This invent'ry, as you'll perceive,
    Names freedom's dispensations,
Names all herself can ever give,
    And all her best relations:
Free industry to work and gain,
    Free what is gain'd t'enjoy, Sirs;
Free words, free thoughts, to entertain,
    Free talents best t'employ, Sirs.

        Chorus.

These rights we'll keep; so let them come,
    And mighty be in, &c.

VI.

A Royal Keystone knits the arch,
    Where freedom's bulwark standing,
With lion flag directs our march,
    To meet the foe when landing:
Then whilst we note our laws and rights,
    Their Guardian let us sing, Sirs,
For whom each true-born Britain fights,
    And toast, God save the King, Sirs.

        Chorus.

For Him we'll fight; so let them come,
    And mighty be in word, Sirs;
But who invades a Briton's home,
    Shall feel a Briton's sword, Sirs.


Notes

1. William Young (1749-1815) was a writer of political tracts, travel journals, and poetry; member of Parliament from 1801-1806, Governor of Tobago from 1807-1815.

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September 2004

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