India Tea | American Revolution War Song

About the author

Frank Moore
Frank Moore

Frank Moore was a journalist and Revolutionary historian. He published a number of books on the American Revolution during his career in the mid-19th century, including Songs and Ballads of the American Revolution, Diary of the American Revolution and The Patriot Preachers of the American Revolution.

This ballad first appeared in Fowler’s Gazette, on the twenty-second of July, 1774, but soon after was adapted to a sacred air, and published in a broadside. It has been attributed to Meshech Weare, who was president of the State of New Hampshire in 1776. He was born in 1714, graduated at Harvard College in 1735, and passing through the highest offices of the State in which be lived, died at Hampton Falls, in the early part of 1786.

India Tea

ROUSE every generous thoughtful mind,
The rising danger flee,
If you would lasting freedom find,
Now then abandon tea.

Scorn to be bound with golden chains,
Though they allure the sight;
Bid them defiance, if they claim
Our freedom and birth-right.

Shall we our freedom give away,
And all our comfort place
In drinking of outlandish tea,
Only to please our taste?

Forbid it Heaven, let us be wise,
And seek our country’s good;
Nor ever let a thought arise,
That tea should be our food.

Since we so great a plenty have,
Of all that’s for our health;
Shall we that blasted herb receive,
Impoverishing our wealth ?

When we survey the breathless corpse,
With putrid matter filled;
For crawling worms; a sweet resort,
By us reputed ill.

Noxious effluvia sending out,
From its pernicious store,
Not only from the foaming mouth,
But every lifeless pore.

To view the same enrolled in tea,
Besmeared with such perfumes,
And then the herb sent o’er the sea,
To us it tainted comes –

Some of it tinctured with a filth,
Of carcasses embalmed;
Taste of this herb, then, if thou wilt!
Sure me it cannot charm.

Adieu! away, oh tea! begone!
Salute our taste no more;
Though thou art coveted by some
Who’re destined to be poor.

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