Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
To the Memory of Lieutenant Peter Mercier, Esq.
Who fell in the battle near Ohio river, in Virginia, July 3, 1754—From the Pennsylvania Gazette, October 31, 1754, published by B. Franklin

TOO fond of what the martial harvests yield—
Alas! too forward in the dangerous field—
Firm and undaunted, resolute and brave,
Careless a life invaluable to save—
As one secure of fame, in battle tried,        5
The glory of Ohio’s sons he died.
  O, once endow’d with every pleasing power
To chase the sad and charm the social hour,
To sweeten life with mild ingenuous arts,
And gain possession of all open hearts,        10
How have thy friends and comrades cause to mourn!
How wish’d they for thy peaceable return,
Thy province and thy household to defend,
And happily thy future years to spend!
I hoped the fates far longer would allow        15
The laurel wreath to flourish on thy brow;
I hoped to greet thee from thy northern toils
Elate with victory, enrich’d with spoils:
But now, alas! these pleasing dreams are fled!
Sweetly thou sleep’st in glory’s dusty bed,        20
By all esteem’d, admir’d, extoll’d, approved,
In death lamented as in life beloved.
Georgia, loud-sounding, thy achievements tell,
And sad Virginia marks where Mercier fell.
  Ah! lost too soon—too early snatch’d away        25
To joys unfading, and immortal day!
Happy! had thy duration been prolong’d
To vindicate the British interest wrong’d;
Since none more ready to defend its cause,
Or to support religion and the laws:        30
In thee our royal sovereign has lost
As brave a soldier as his troops could boast.
  If at some future hour of dread alarms,
When virtue and my country call to arms
For freedom, struggling nations to unbind,        35
Or break those sceptres that would bruise mankind,
In such a cause may such a death as thine,
With equal honour merited, be mine.

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