Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
On the Death of His Excellency, General Montgomery
From the New York Gazetteer, and the Weekly Mercury—February 19, 1776

WHAT mean those tears, that thus effusive flow?
Why throbs each breast with agonizing woe?
Montgomery’s dead!—a name by all rever’d?
By patriots lov’d—by dastard tyrants fear’d.
For this, did he embark in freedom’s cause!        5
Nobly supporting our expiring laws?
Was it for this he left his native home,
The frozen wilds of Canada to roam?
For this he toil’d to execute the plan,
Which prov’d the hero—prov’d too clear, the man?        10
Alas, too clear!—on Abraham’s hapless plain,
Where brave Montcalm, and braver Wolfe was slain.
There view the wise, the valiant, and the just;
There Roman greatness mingles with the dust,
No more to war, the drum or fife shall raise        15
That head, encircled with immortal bays!
No more shall troops, with Roman courage fir’d,
With ardent zeal and liberty inspir’d,
Led on by him, embattled hosts engage;
For O! he’s dead—the hero of the age!        20
When Cato fell, Rome mourn’d the fatal blow;
Wolfe’s death bid streams of British tears to flow:
Why then should freemen stop the friendly tear,
Or ever blush to weep for one so dear?
O! no—for him, with sighs our bosoms heave,        25
And with the bay we now the cypress weave.
And O! while valour, virtue, we revere,
Or unsuccessful merit claims a tear,
To brave Montgomery we that tear will give:
His name with Cato’s and with Wolfe’s shall live.        30

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