This song is variously claimed to have been written by Jeremiah Sargent or by Francis Hopkinson. More than likely it was written by John Mason, in whose paper, the Pennsylvania Packet, it first appeared in 1775.
High on the banks of Delaware Fair Liberty she stood;
And waving with her lovely hand, Cried, "Still, thou roaring flood.
Be still ye winds, be still ye seas, Let only zephyrs play!"
Just as she spoke, they all obeyed; And thus the maid did say:
"Welcome my friends, from every land Where freedom doth not reign;
Oh! Hither fly from every clime, Sweet liberty to gain.
"Mark Londonderry's brave defence 'Gainst tyranny that swayed;
Americans, the example's great! Like them, be not dismayed.
"Expect not that on downy beds, This boon you can secure;
At perils smile, rouse up your souls! War's dangers to endure."
" 'Gainst your affronted land behold Oppression rear its head;
In hydra-form and battle's din, Each trembling slave to dread.
"But ye, its sons, will ne'er give up Your parent fires till death;
Behold! yon beauteous virgins seek Laurel your brows to wreathe.
"Bear on your minds the noble deeds Your ancestors achieved;
How many worthy Britons bled, To have their children freed!
"See on the meteors of the night Their spirits wanly fly!
Roused from their graves by your distress; Hark! thus I heard them cry.
"Was it for this, ye mothers dear! Ye nursed your tender babes?
Was it for this, our yet loved sons! We sheathed our trusty blades?
" 'O! genius of our ancient times! Be thou our children's guide,
To arms! to arms!' - They call to arms, And stalk in martial pride.
"I will them guide, ye reverend sires! Go to your tombs in peace;
The rage of proud usurping men, Your sons shall yet repress.
"Hold up your heads, ye weeping fair! Their swords are on their thighs;
Smile yet again, ye lovely babes! Their banner's in the skies.
"I come, I come, to join your train; Heaven's ministers I see;
Farewell, my friends, be not afraid! Be virtuous and be free!"
Heaven's portals opened as she soared, And angels thence did come;
With heavenly songs and golden harps, The Goddess welcomed home.