Virginia Banishing 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.

Many urgent appeals to the people of the different colonies were made after the destruction of the tea at Boston, calling upon them to abstain from the use of all imported commodities, and to confine themselves to the fragrant herbs and other productions of their own fields and forests. The following poetical one was written by a young lady, of whom all that is known is, that she was “a native of Virginia, endowed with all the graces of a cultivated mind, pleasant external qualities, and a model of patriotism worthy the emulation of many more conspicuous.”

Virginia Banishing Tea

BEGONE pernicious, baneful tea,
With all Pandora’s ills possessed,
Hyson, no more beguiled by thee1
My noble sons shall be oppressed.

To Britain fly, where gold enslaves,
And venal men their birth-right sell;
Tell North and his bribed clan of knaves,
Their bloody acts were made in hell.

In Henry’s reign those acts began,
Which sacred rules of justice broke
North now pursues the hellish plan,
To fix on us his slavish yoke.

But we oppose, and will be free,
This great good cause we will defend;
Nor bribe, nor Gage, nor North’s decree,
Shall make us “at his feet to bend.”

From Anglia’s ancient sons we came;
Those heroes who for freedom fought;
In freedom’s c ause we’ll march; their fame,
By their example greatly taught.

Our king we love, but North we hate,
Nor will to him submission own;
If death’s our doom, we’ll brave our fate,
But pay allegiance to the throne.

Then rouse, my sons! from slavery free
Your suffering homes; from God’s high wrath;
Gird on your steel; give liberty,
To all who follow in our path.

  1. “Hyson, no more beguiled by thee”. These appeals, very generally, had the desired effects. Some, however, of the “more ancient and decaide females,” could not deny themselves the pleasing stimulant, ,and it was their custom to take a “wee drop” clandestinely. The following is one, of many anecdotes concerning these quiet solacements. A lady of Virginia, being in opulent circumstances, invited a party of her female acquaintances to pass an evening with her in a private room up stairs, where they were to regale themselves with a dish of the forbidden tea. But the husband of the lady, inferring from the appearance of affairs, what was going on, quietly stole up stairs and slipped a piece of tobacco into the tea-kettle; The consequence was, the ladies all went home most terribly disturbed and uncertain; while the old gentleman enjoyed himself, patriotically, at their expense.”

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