Fettered the genius and debased the man,
Each trifling legend was as truth received;
The priest invented, and the crowd believed;
Nations adored the whim in stone or paint,
And gloried in the fabricated saint.
Some holy guardian, hence, each nation claims—
Gay France her Dennis, and grave Spain her James,
Britons at once two mighty saints obey—
Andrew and George maintain united sway,
O'er humbler lands the same odd whim prevails;
Ireland her Patrick, boasts her David, Wales.
We Pennsylvanians, these old tales reject,
And our own saint think proper to erect—
Immortal Tammany of Indian Race,
Great in the fields, and foremost in the chase,
No puny saint was he, with fasting pale,
He climbed the mountains, and swept the vale;
Rushed through the torrent with unequaled might;—
Your ancient saints would tremble at the sight—
Caught the swift boar, and swifter deer with ease,
And worked a thousand miracles like these.
To public views, he added private ends,
And loved his country most, and next his friends.
With courage long he strove to ward the blow,
(Courage we all respect, e'en in a foe)—
And when each effort he in vain had tried,
Kindled the flame in which he bravely died!
To Tammany let the full horn go round;
His fame let every honest tongue resound;
With him let every generous patriot vie
To live in freedom, or with honor die!
Nor shall I think my labor too severe,
Since ye, wise sachems, kindly deign to hear.'