Public Spirit of the Women | 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.

The American women, daring the revolution, excelled their nature. Europe heard, with wonder and regret, of their constancy and devotion to the cause of liberty; and their spirit and firmness has been the theme of many excellent lyrics, both in this country, and the old world. We have several French ballads, commemorating their patriotism.

Public Spirit of the Women

THOUGH age at my elbow has taken his stand,
And Time has stretch’d o’er me his wrinkling hand;
Our patriot fair like a charm can inspire,
In three-score-and-ten, twenty’s spirit and fire.

Boy, fill me a bumper ! as long as I live,
The patriot fair for my toast must I give;
Here’s a health to the sex of every degree,
Where sweetness and beauty with firmness agree.

No more will I babble of times that are past,
My wish is, the present for ever may last;
Already I see sulky George in despair,
Should he vanquish the men, to vanquish the fair.1

Of Greeks and of Romans enough has been said,
To Codrus and Brutus full tribute been paid;
O’er musty old heroes no longer I’ll dream,
Living beauty and virtue enliven my theme.

Could time be roll’d backward, and age become young, My heart swell with ardor, my arm be new strung;
Under Washington’s banner I’d cheerfully fight,
Where the smiles of the fair with glory unite.

Fill a bumper again boy, and let it go round,
For the waters of youth in claret are found;
The younkers shall know, I’ve the courage to dare
Drink as deep as the best to the patriot fair.

  1. To vanquish the fair. “If they had not been rebels,” said Burke, “I could have been lavish in praising women, who, reduced by the ruin of civil discord to the most horrid situations of distress and poverty, had generosity and public spirit to strip the blankets, in the freezing season, from themselves and their infants, to send to the camp, and preserve that army which had gone out to fight for their liberty. And shall Britons overlook such virtue, and will they persist in oppressing it? Shall we give them no alternative but unconditional submission? A three years’ war has not terrified them, distressed as they are, from their great purpose. Let us try the power of lenity over those generous bosoms.”The following verses are taken from a manuscript diary, kept during the revolution, now in possession of the editor.”God bless our gentle mothers, dear,
    Who cheer us on our way !
    God bless our loving sisters, dear,
    Who with them at home stay.

    We’ll fight for them, and die for them,
    To keep them from Tory !
    We’ll raise our hearts In prayer for them,
    Wherever we may be.”

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