Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Banks of Champlain—1812
 
’TWAS autumn, and round me the leaves were descending,
  And lonely the woodpecker peck’d on the tree,
Whilst thousands their freedom and rights were defending.
  The din of their arms sounded dismal to me;
For Sandy, my love, was engaged in the action,        5
Without him I valued the world not a fraction;
His death would have ended my life in distraction,
As lonely I stray’d on the banks of Champlain.
 
Then, turning to list to the cannon’s loud thunder,
  My elbow I lean’d on a rock near the shore;        10
The sounds nearly parted my heart-strings asunder:
  I thought I should see my dear shepherd no more.
But soon an express all my sorrow suspended;
My thanks to the Father of mercy ascended:
My shepherd was safe, and my country defended        15
By Freedom’s brave sons, on the banks of Champlain.
 
I wiped from my eye the big tear that had started,
  And hasten’d the news to my parents to bear,
Who sigh’d for the loss of relations departed,
  And wept at the tidings that banish’d their care.        20
The cannons now ceased, the drums still were beating:
The foes of our country far north were retreating:
The neighbouring damsels each other were greeting
With songs of delight, on the banks of Champlain.
 
Our squadron triumphant, our army victorious,        25
  With laurels unfaded, our Spartans return’d;
My eyes never dwelt on a scene half so glorious,
  My heart with such rapture before never burn’d.
But Sandy, my darling, that moment appearing,
His presence to every countenance cheering,        30
Was render’d to me more doubly endearing,
By feats he perform’d on the banks of Champlain.
 
But should smiling Peace, with her blessings and treasures,
  Soon visit the plains of Columbia again,
What pen can describe the enrapturing pleasures        35
  That I shall experience through life with my swain?
For then no wild savage will come to alarm us,
Nor worse British foes send their minions to harm us,
But Nature and Art will continue to charm us,
While happy we live on the banks of Champlain.        40
 
 
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