Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
December 26
The Battle of Trenton
          A victory gained by the Americans under Washington over the British on Dec. 26, 1776.

ON Christmas-day in seventy-six,
  Our ragged troops, with bayonets fixed,
For Trenton marched away.
The Delaware see! the boats below!
The light obscured by hail and snow!        5
  But no signs of dismay.
Our object was the Hessian band,
That dared invade fair freedom’s land.
  And quarter in that place.
Great Washington he led us on,        10
Whose streaming flag, in storm or sun,
  Had never known disgrace.
In silent march we passed the night,
Each soldier panting for the fight,
  Though quite benumbed with frost.        15
Greene on the left at six began,
The right was led by Sullivan,
  Who ne’er a moment lost.
Their pickets stormed, the alarm was spread,
That rebels risen from the dead,        20
  Were marching into town.
Some scampered here, some scampered there,
And some for action did prepare;
  But soon their arms laid down.
Twelve hundred servile miscreants,        25
With all their colors, guns and tents,
  Were trophies of the day.
The frolic o’er, the bright canteen,
In centre, front, and rear was seen
  Driving fatigue away.        30
Now, brothers of the patriot bands,
Let’s sing deliverance from the hands
  Of arbitrary sway.
And as our life is but a span,
Let’s touch the tankard while we can,        35
  In memory of that day.

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