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Emancipation From British Dependence

( Originally Published 1927 )



BY PHILIP FRENEAU

(The following note in explanation of proper names, etc., in this poem is copied from Duyckinck's edition of Freneau.)

Note. Sir James Wallace, Admiral Graves, and Captain Montague, were British naval officers, employed on our coast. The Viper and Rose were vessels in the service. Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor of Virginia, had recently in April, 1775, removed the public stores from Williamsburg, and, in conjunction with a party of adherents, supported by the naval force on the station, was making war on the province. William Tryon, the last Royal governor of New York, informed of a resolution of the Continental Congress: " That it be recommended to the several provincial assemblies in conventions and councils, or committees of safety, to arrest and secure every person in their respective colonies whose going at large may, in their opinion, endanger the safety of the colony or the liberties of America," discerning the signs of the times, took refuge on board the Halifax packet in the harbor, and left the city in the middle of October, 1775.

Libera nos, Domine Deliver us, 0 Lord,
Not only from British dependence, but also,
From a junto that labor for absolute power,
Whose schemes disappointed have made them look sour ;
From the lords of the council, who fight against freedom
Who still follow on where delusion shall lead 'em.

From groups at St. James's who slight our Petitions,
And fools that are waiting for further submissions;
From a nation whose manners are rough and abrupt,
From scoundrels and rascals whom gold can corrupt.

From pirates sent out by command of the king
To murder and plunder, but never to swing;
From Wallace, and Graves, and Vipers and Roses,
Whom, if Heaven pleases, we'll give bloody noses.

From the valiant Dunmore, with his crew of banditti
Who plunder Virginians at Williamsburg city,
From hot-headed Montague, mighty to swear,
The little fat man with his pretty white hair.

From bishops in Britain, who butchers are grown,
From slaves that would die for a smile from the throne,
From assemblies that vote against Congress' proceedings,
(Who now see the fruit of their stupid misleadings).

From Tryon, the mighty, who flies from our city,
And swelled with importance, disdains the committee ;
(But since he is pleased to proclaim us his foes,
What the devil care we where the devil he goes.)

From the caitiff, Lord North, who could bind us in chains,
From our noble King Log, with his toothful of brains,
Who dreams, and is certain (when taking a nap)
He has conquered our lands as they lay on his map.

From a kingdom that bullies, and hectors, and swears,
I send up to Heaven my wishes and prayers
That we, disunited, may freemen be still,
And Britain go on to be damn'dif she will.



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