Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
To the Memory of Major Fleming and Lieutenant Yates
 
Of the First Virginia Battalion, who fell at Princeton, January 3, 1777
From the Pennsylvania Evening Post, February 1, 1777

Addressed to Virginian Youth

PERMIT an artless muse, in votive lays,
To speak in Fleming’s and in Yeates’s praise;
And, in a grateful strain, to tell
How well they fought, how well they fell.
  When Freedom’s cause, by base, tyrannic hands,        5
Was seeming hurt, yet shined in distant lands—
When fair Virginia nigh a spoil was made,
And thought bereft of liberty and trade,
We saw these youths 1 with honest rage pursue
The daring foe 2 who would their land subdue:        10
From state to state the ireful fiend was sent,
On bloody schemes and on dire mischief bent—
Till, met in battle near great Nassau’s hall, 3
Our youthful heroes like brave Wolfe did fall;
When victory was pronounced on Freedom’s side,        15
They view’d their wounds, they smiled, they died.
From their example let us ever try
To dare our foes, and learn, like them, to die.
 
Note 1. Major Fleming was in his twenty-first year, and Mr. Yeates about the same age. [back]
Note 2. Lord Dunmore and the English troops. [back]
Note 3. The college at Princeton, named after King William III. [back]
 
 
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