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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Cry to Battle

By Jonathan Mitchel Sewall (1748–1808)

[Born in Salem, Mass., 1748. Died at Portsmouth, N. H., 1808. “Epilogue to Cato,” written in 1778.—Miscellaneous Poems. 1801.]

YOU see mankind the same in every age;

Heroic fortitude, tyrannic rage,

Boundless ambition, patriotic truth,

And hoary treason, and untainted youth,

Have deeply marked all periods and all climes:

The noblest virtues, and the blackest crimes!

Britannia’s daring sins and virtues both,

Perhaps once marked the Vandal and the Goth,

And what now gleams with dawning ray at home

Once blazed in full-orbed majesty at Rome.

Did Cæsar, drunk with power, and madly brave,

Insatiate burn, his country to enslave?

Did he for this lead forth a servile host,

And spill the choicest blood that Rome could boast?

Our British Cæsar too has done the same,

And damned this age to everlasting fame.

Columbia’s crimsoned fields still smoke with gore!

Her bravest heroes cover all the shore!

The flower of Britain too in martial bloom,

In one sad year sent headlong to the tomb!


Rise then, my countrymen! for fight prepare,

Gird on your swords, and fearless rush to war!

For your grieved country nobly dare to die,

And empty all your veins for liberty.

No pent-up Utica contracts your powers,

But the whole boundless continent is yours!