It will be observed that the name of Boone stands here as the author of this song. It puts me in mind of the following story: Many years ago there lived upon the frontier a man and his family, struggling in the depths of the forest to make a living, and to establish himself upon what was then the Western Territory. Indians and wild animals were around him everywhere, and when the farmer went to the forests, he went with axe in one hand, and gun in the other. One day he heard the screams of his wife, and rushing out of the woods to his little cabin be saw an Indian running away with his baby boy. He lifted his rifle, took the best aim he could, and fired. The Indian only turned and laughed at him, and went on. Just then he heard a voice behind him, saying, " A little too low; you aimed too low." And with that he heard the crack of a rifle and saw the Indian fall, as the little boy, released from his grasp, came running back to his father and mother. The glad-hearted father turned to the man who had killed the Indian, and said to him, "Tell me who you are; give me your name that I may teach it to my child, and ever remember it with a grateful heart." The man smiled, and, extending his hand, said, " Daniel Boone, with my best wishes," and turned away to the forest. He had aimed exactly right, and so did the Kentucky soldiers during the war. No wonder they were called upon to give up their arms.


Ho ! will the despot trifle,
In dwellings of the free;
Kentuckians yield the rifle,
Kentuckians bend the knee !
With dastard fear of danger,
And trembling at the strife;
Kentucky, to the stranger,
Yield liberty for life !
Up ! up ! each gallant ranger,
With rifle and with knife !

The bastard and the traitor,
The wolfecub and the snake,
The robber, swindler, hater,
Are in your homes—awake !

Nor let the cunning foeman
Despoil your liberty;
Yield weapon up to no man,
While ye can strike and see,
Awake, each gallant yoeman,
If still ye would be free !

Ay, see to sight the rifle,
And smite with spear and knife,

Let no base cunning stifle
Each lesson of your life :
How won your gallant sires
The country which ye keep ?
By soul, which still inspires
The soil on which ye weep !
Leap up ! their spirit fires,
And rouse ye from your sleep !

"What !" cry the sires so famous,
In Orleans' ancient field,
'' Will ye, our children, shame us,
And to the despot yield ?
What ! each brave lesson stifle
We left to give you life ?
Let apish despots trifle
With home and child and wife ?
And yield, O shame ! the rifle,
And sheathe, O shame! the knife ?"

Back to Kentucky Poetry
Back to Kentucky Arts
Back to Table of Contents