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Soon reinforced from Albion's crowded shore,
New legions came, new plains were drenched in gore ;
And scarce Columbia's arm the fight sustains,
While her best blood gush'd from a thousand veins.
Then thine, O Brown that purpled wide the ground,
Pursued the knife through many a ghastly wound.
Ah hapless friend ! permit the tender tear
To flow e'en now, for none flowed on thy bier,
Where cold and mangled, under northern skies,
To famish'd wolves a prey thy body lies;
Which erst so fair and tall in youthful grace,
Strength in thy nerves, and beauty in thy face,
Stood like a tower, till struck by the swift ball;
Then what avail'd (to ward the untimely fall)
The force of limbs, the mind so well inform’d,
The taste refined, the breast with friendship warm'd,
(That friendship which our earliest years begun)
Or what the laurels that thy sword had won,
When the dark bands from thee, expiring, tore
Thy long hair mingled with the spouting gore ?
Nor less, brave Scammel, frown'd thine angry fate,
(May deathless shame that British deed await!)
On York's famed field, amid the first alarms,
Ere yet fair victory crown'd the allied arms,
Fell chance betray'd thee to the hostile band,
The hapless victim of the assassin hand!
Lo! while I tell the execrable deed,
Fresh in his side the dark wound seems to bleed;
The small red current still for vengeance cries,
And asks, “Why sleeps the thunder in the skies? "
On him, ye heavens, let all your vengeance fall,
On the curst wretch who wing'd the insidious ball.
But thou, blest shade, be sooth'd! be this thy praise,
Ripe were thy virtues, though too few thy days!
Be this thy fame, through life of all approved,
To die lamented, honor'd, and beloved.
And see, far south, where yonder hearse appears,
An army mourning, and a land in tears!
There Laurens, passing to an early tomb,
Looks like a flower, just withering in its bloom.
Thy father's pride, the glory of our host!
Thy country's sorrow, late thy country's boast !
O Laurens! generous youth! twice hadst thou bled ;
Could not the ball with devious aim have sped ?
And must thy friends, now peace appears so near,
Weep the third stroke that cuts a life so dear;
That blots the prospect of our rising morn,
And leaves thy country, as thy sire, forlorn ?
Companions loved! long as the life-blood flows,
Or vital warmth in this fond bosom glows,
While there I cherish your remembrance dear,
Oft will I drop the tributary tear.
But what avails to trace the fate of war
Through fields of blood, and paint each glorious scar ?
Why should the strain your former woes recall,
The tears that wept a friend or brother's fall,
When by your side first in the adventurous strife,
He dauntless rush’d, too prodigal of life?
Enough of merit has each honor'd name,
To shine, untarnish'd, on the rolls of fame;
To stand the example of each distant age,
And add new lustre to the historic page:
For soon their deeds, illustrious, shall be shown
In breathing bronze, or animated stone,
Or where the canvass, starting into life,
Revives the glories of the crimson strife.
Ye sons of genius, who the pencil hold, Whose master strokes, beyond description bold, Of other years and climes the history trace, Can ye for this neglect your kindred race? Columbia calls—her parent voice demands More grateful offerings from your filial hands. And soon some bard shall tempt the untried themes, Sing how we dared, in fortune's worst extremes; What cruel wrongs the indignant patriot bore, What various ills your feeling bosoms tore, What boding terrors gloom'd the threat'ning hour, When British legions, arm’d with death-like power, Bade desolation mark their crimson'd way, And lured the savage to his destined prey ; When fierce Germania her battalions pour'd, And rapine's sons, with wasting fire and sword, Spread death around: where'er your eyes ye turn’d, Fled were the peasants, and the village burn'd. How did your hearts for others' sufferings melt! What torturing pangs your bleeding country felt ! What! when you fled before superior force, Each succor lost, and perish'd each resource ! When nature, fainting from the want of food, On the white snow your steps were mark'd in blood ! When through your tatter'd garbs you met the wind, Despair before, and ruin frown'd behind ! When nought was seen around, but prospects drear, The insulting foe hung dreadful on your rear,
And boastful ween'd, that day to close the scene,
And quench your name, as though it ne'er had been.
Why, Britian, raged thy insolence and scorn ?
Why burst thy vengeance on the wretch forlorn?
The cheerless captive to slow death consign'd,
Chill'd with keen frost, in prison glooms confined;
Of hope bereft, by thy vile minions curst,
With hunger famish'd, and consumed with thirst,
Without one friend—when death's last horror stung,
Roll’d the wild eye, and gnaw'd the anguish'd tongue.
Why, Britain, in thy arrogance and pride,
Didst thou heaven's violated laws deride,
Mock human misery with contemptuous sneers,
And fill thy cup of guilt with orphan's tears ?
The widow's wailing, and the wretch's groan,
Rise in remembrance to the eternal throne,
While the red flame, through the broad concave driven,
Calls down the vengeance of insulted heaven.
And didst thou think, by cruelty refined,
To damp the ardor of the heaven-born mind,
With haughty threats to force the daring train
To bow, unnerved, in slavery's galling chain;
Make countless freemen-then no longer free,
Shrink at thy frown, and bend the servile knee?
And couldst thou dream? then wake, dissolve thy charms,
Roused by their wrongs, see desperate hosts in arms!
No fear dismays, nor danger's voice appals,
While kindred blood for sacred vengeance calls:
Their swords shall triumph o'er thy vaunted force,
And curb the conqueror in his headlong course.
What spoils of war, thy sons, Columbia, claim'd!
What trophies rose, where thy red ensigns flamed !
Where the great chief, o'er Delaware's icy wave,
Led the small band, in dangers doubly brave;
On high designs, and ere the dawning hour,
Germania's veterans own'd the victor's power;
Or on the muse's plain, where round thy tomb,
O gallant Mercer! deathless laurels bloom;
Or where, anon, in northern fields renown'd,
The tide of slaughter stain'd the sanguine ground ;
When the bold freemen, gathering from afar,
Foil'd the proud foe, and crush'd the savage war:
On that brave band their country's plaudit waits,
And consecrates to fame the name of Gates.
Nor less the valor of the impetuous shock,
Which seized the glorious prize on Hudson's rock,
Where Wayne, e'en while he felt the whizzing ball,
Pluck'd the proud standard from the vanquish'd wall.
Now turn your eyes, where southern realms are seen,
From ruin rescued by the immortal Greene:
See toils of death, where many a hero bleeds,
Till rapid victory to defeat succeeds.
On numerous plains, whose streams, unknown to song,
Till this great era, rolld obscure along,
Their names shall now, to fame familiar grown,
Outlast the pile of monumental stone.
Or see on fair Virginia's strand arise,
The column pointing to the favoring skies,
Inscribed with deeds the federate arms have done,
And graved with trophies from Britannia won:
Here stand the conquering bands: the vanquish'd throng
Through the long lines in silence move along :
The stars and lilies, here in laurels drest,
And there, dark shrouds the banner'd pride invest :
These twice twelve banners once in pomp unfurld,
Spread death and terror round the southern world :
In various colors from the staff unroll’d,
The lion frown'd, the eagle flamed in gold;
Hibernia's heart, reluctant, here was hung,
And Scotia's thistle there spontaneous sprung:
These twice twelve flags no more shall be display'd,
Save in the dome where warlike spoils are laid;
Since, where the fathers in high council meet,
This hand has placed them prostrate at their feet.
So beam the glories of the victor band !
And such the dawning hope that cheers our land!
Since Gallia's sire, intent on cares of state,
Sublimely good, magnanimously great!
Protector of the rights of human kind,
Weigh'd the dread contest in his royal mind,
And bade his fleets o'er the broad ocean fly,
To succor realms beneath another sky!
Since his blest troops, in happiest toils allied,
Have fought, have bled, have conquer'd by your side :
The mingled stream, in the same trench that flow'd,
Cements the nations by their heroes' blood,
Yet still, Columbians, see what choice remains,
Ignoble bondage and inglorious chains,
Or all the joys which liberty can give,
For which you dare to die, or wish to live.
On the drawn sword your country's fate depends:
Your wives, your children, parents, brothers, friends,
With all the tender charities of life,
Hang on the issue of the arduous strife.
To bolder deeds, and victory’s fierce delights,
Your country calls, and heaven itself invites.
Charm’d by their potent voice, let virtue's flame,
The sense of honor, and the fear of shame,
The thirst of praise, and freedom's envied cause,
The smiles of heroes, and the world's applause,
Impel each breast, in glory's dread career,
Firm as your rock-raised hills, to persevere.
Now the sixth year of independence smiles,
The glorious meed of all our warlike toils ;
Auspicious power, with thy broad flag unfurld,
Shed thy stern influence on our western world!
With thy congenial flame our hearts inspire,
With manly patience and heroic fire,
The rudest shock of fortune s storm to bear:
Each ill to suffer; every death to dare ;
To rush undaunted in the adventurous van,
And meet the Britons, man opposed to man ;
With surer aim repel their barbarous rage ;
Shield the poor orphan, and the white-hair’d sage;
Defend the matron, and the virgin's charms,
And vindicate our sacred rights with arms.
This the great genius of our land requires,
This the blest shades of our illustrious sires,
This the brave sons of future years demand,
Cheers the faint heart, and nerves the feeble hand;
This sacred hope, that points beyond the span
Which bounds this transitory life of man,
Where glory lures us with her bright renown,
The hero's triumph, and the patriot's crown;
The fair reward to suffering virtue given,
Pure robes of bliss, and starry thrones in heaven.
Changed are the scenes ; now fairer prospects rise,
And brighter suns begin to gild our skies,
The exhausted fue, his last poor effort tried,
Sees nought remain, save impotence and pride:
His golden dreams of fancied conquest o'er,
(And Gallia thundering round his native shore,
Iberia aiding with Potosi's mines,
While brave Batavia in the conflict joins)
Reluctant turns, and, deep involved in woes,
In other climes prepares for other foes.
Anon, the horrid sounds of war shall cease,
And all the western world be hush'd in peace:
The martial clarion shall be heard no more,
Nor the loud cannon's desolating roar :