Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
On Seeking the Grave of Baron De Kalb
          The Baron De Kalb was an officer of great military talents and of very respectable character. He was mortally wounded at the battle of Camden, fought on the 16th of August, 1780. He died rejoicing in the services he had rendered America in her struggle for independence, and gloried with his latest breath in the honour of dying in so righteous a cause. He was buried near the village of Camden, and an ornamental tree planted at the head of his grave.

  BORN in the reach of splendour, pomp, and power,
He spurn’d at honours unattain’d by worth;
  And, fostering Freedom in a glorious hour,
Preferr’d her cause to all the pride of birth.
  In Freedom’s virtuous cause, alert, he rose;        5
In Freedom’s virtuous cause, undaunted, bled;
  He died for Freedom mid a host of foes,
And found, in Camden’s plains, an honour’d bed.
  But where, O! where’s the hallow’d sod,
Beneath whose verd the hero’s ashes sleep?        10
  Is this the cold, neglected, mouldering clod?
Or that the grave at which I ought to weep?
  Why rises not some massy pillar high,
To grace a name that fought for Freedom’s prize?
  Or, why, at least, some rudely-etch’d stone nigh,        15
To show the spot where matchless valour lies?
  Yet, soldier, thy illustrious name is known,
Thy fame supported, and thy worth confess’d;
  That peerless virtue, which in danger shone,
Is shining still, when thou art laid in rest.        20
  And though no monumental scrip is seen,
Thy worth to publish, and thy deeds proclaim,
  Each son of Freedom, passing near this green,
Shall hail De Kalb, and venerate his name.

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