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American History Stories, Volume II by  Mara L. Pratt

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JUNE 17, 1775


Stand! the ground's your own, my braves!

Will ye give it up to slaves?

Will ye look for greener graves?

Hope ye mercy still?

What's the mercy despots feel?

Hear it in that battle peal!

Read it on yon bristling steel!

Ask it, ye who will.

Fear ye foes who kill for hire?

Will ye to your homes retire?

Look behind you! they're afire!

And, before you, see

Who have done it! From the vale

On they come!—and will ye quail?

Leaden rain and iron hail

Let their welcome be!

In the God of battles trust!

Die we may, and die we must;

But, oh, where can dust to dust

Be consigned so well

As where heaven its dews shall shed

On the martyred patriot's bed,

And the rocks shall raise their head.

Of his deeds to tell?

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