Obscure Songs for Forgotten Causes

Weighed & found wanting, or the effects of a summer's ramble



Tune.— The Soldier’s Gratitude.

‘Tis fair to see yon banner bright
Unfurling to the breeze;
‘Tis joy to hear that shout arise,
A nation’s voice it breathes.
And see upon that sunlit flag
With glorious mottos strewed;
The patriot name which justly claims
A Nation’s gratitude.

The stainless crest of Harry Clay,
Its waving canvass bears;
We proudly nail it to the mast.
And cry, “gainsay who dares!”
Breathes there the man who bears a heart
With patriotic fire imbued.
But yields our Chief his well earn’d meed,
A Nation’s gratitude.


The tune, “The Soldier’s Gratitude” is more formally A soldier’s gratitude : the favorite air, sung by Mr. Sinclair, in the revived opera called The lord of the manor, at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden / composed by Henry R. Bishop.

The words are:

Whate’er my fate where’er I roam,
By sorrow still opprest,
I’ll ne’er forget the peaceful home,
That gave a wanderer rest.

Then ever rove life’s sunny banks,
By sweetest flower’rets strew’d,
Yet may I claim a Solder’s thanks,
A Soldier’s gratitude.

The tender sigh, the balmy tear,
That meek-ey’d pity grave,
My last expiring hour shall cheer,
And bless the wanderer’s grave,

Then ever rove, &c.

Alas, I have been unable to find the sheet music on the web, nor yet anyone singing it.

“Gainsay who dare” is the motto of the Macdonalds of Clanranald.

“Breathes there a man” calls to mind the verse by Sir Walter Scott (from The Lay of the Last Minstrel):

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d,
From wandering on a foreign strand! 

Tomorrow: Harry the Honest and True.

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