“Perhaps it was better as it was,” said Davenport. “I think there were brave men enough in our army.” It was clear that Davenport was disposed to argue the respective merits of the generals of the revolution. Hand thought argument might check the flow of good-feeling, and therefore suggested that they should have more drum and fife music. Brown and Hanson agreed, and upon request struck up the “White Cockade.” This was spirit-stirring, and called forth much applause. Another song was called for, and one of the young men sang the following song, written for the occasion, but which his modesty had hitherto held back. The music was that of “Rule, Brittania!”
When our great sires this
A shelter from tyrannic wrong!
Led on by heaven’s Almighty Lord,
They sung—and acted well the song,
Rise united! dare be freed!
Our sons shall vindicate the deed.
In vain the region they would
Was distant, dreary, undisclosed;
In vain the Atlantic roar’d between;
And hosts of savages opposed;
They rush’d undaunted, Heaven decreed
Their sons should vindicate the deed.
’Twas Freedom led the
And manly fortitude to bear;
They toil’d, they vanquished I such high worth
Is always Heaven’s peculiar care.
Their great example still inspires,
Nor dare we act beneath our sires.
’Tis ours undaunted
The dear-bought, rich inheritance;
And spite of each invading hand,
We’ll fight, bleed, die, in its defence!
Pursue our fathers’ paths of fame,
And emulate their glorious flame.
As the proud oak inglorious
Till storms and thunder root it fast,
So stood our new unpractised bands,
Till Britain roar’d her stormy blast;
Then, see, they vanquish’d! fierce led on
By Freedom and great Washington.
The song had very little poetry and less music in it; but patriotism applauded its spirit. Mr. Hand again directed the conversation in such a manner as to glean as much information from the veteran patriots as possible, and enquired if any of them had seen the hero of Bennington—General John Stark.
“Oh! yes,” replied Timothy Ransom, “There was very few of the right-side-up men in Vermont, that I didn’t see and know too. See General Stark! I guess I did; and seen a leetle of him at Bennington, too.”
“I thought General Stark belonged to New Hampshire,” said Hand.
“So he did,” replied Ransom. “The country that now makes the states of Varmount and New Hampshire was then called the New Hampshire Grants, and was governed by one assembly and one council.”
“What sort of a looking man was Stark?” enquired Pitts.