Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Harrison’s Return
By J. W. Matthews
 
“HE has return’d!”—but no clarion’s peal
  Breathes proudly his welcome home;
Not with the music of ringing steel
  Doth that gray-haired chieftain come;
Not on the bright triumphal car        5
  With the shouts of victory;
Not with the banner and trump of war,
  In the warrior’s panoply.
 
He has return’d!—but not mid the tread
  Of a proud, exulting throng,        10
With the glittering wreath upon his head,
  And in triumph borne along;
Not with the gun’s deep thunder pour’d
  Out on the echoing air;
Nor with roaring drum and gleaming sword        15
  Is that warrior welcomed there!
 
He has return’d!—but the glancing light
  Of that eagle eye is dim;
For sternly and dark the fearful blight
  Of the tomb has passed o’er him.        20
Hush’d is the throb of that mighty breast,
  And pale is that noble brow,
And cold his form in its last, long rest—
  Ye cannot disturb it now!
 
He has return’d—but a weeping band        25
  Is gather’d around his bier,
And a voice of wail through the sunset land
  Is echoing far and near.
They have borne him back to rest at last
  Mid the scenes he loved to trace,        30
Where the sunset’s dying gleams are cast
  O’er his glorious burial-place.
 
Ay! bury him there by his own homestead,
  Where his own hearth-light has shone,
Where the dirge may rise for the mighty dead        35
  In the billow’s midnight moan.
Tread lightly now!—he is with his God,
  And free from life’s wildest storm;
Evermore hallow’d shall be the sod
  That rests o’er his sacred form!        40
 
 
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