Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
On Viewing the Naval Procession at New York
 
September 15, 1813

WHERE slowly moves the warrior’s laurell’d bier
  In all the pomp of wo—its sad array;
Why Nature there refuse the tribute tear,
  Which still to Worth, to Genius she will pay?
 
Why, Sympathy, didst sleep within thy coral cell,        5
  As pass’d Columbia’s fallen hero by:
And no fond looks his deeds of valour tell,
  Nor crystal tear-drop fill the trembling eye!
 
Such were not Nature in that lofty hour,
  When patriots feel the hero gone from earth;        10
The soul, enchanted by a bolder power,
  Gives to each passion yet a nobler birth.
 
A sacred fire burns in every vein,
  O’er every limb—through every nerve it steals;
Thrills through the heart with unresisted reign,        15
  Refines the spirit that sublimely feels!
 
Upward is raised the soul-expressing eye,
  Flash’d with its generous, its exulting fire;
Follows the hero to his kindred sky,
  And hears the requiem of celestial choir!        20
 
The solemn scene, less eloquent of woes,
  Tells of heroic worth, of deeds in arms;
A kindling joy through every life-pulse glows—
  Passion is clad in more than mortal charms.
 
And as he pauses ’bove the array of earth,        25
  The soul is busied in its proud employ;
’Tis there it feels—it owns immortal birth—
  The hallow’d scene is redolent of joy!
 
But onward—follow to the silent grave,
  Where the cold clods with solemn music blend;        30
O! Nature there her tender tribute gave,
  And wept the Christian, father, and the friend.
 
The sterner warrior melts with willing wo,
  Nor shames to feel the kindred pulse of earth;
A small, fond relic, that we still may know,        35
  How the celestial was of mortal birth.
 
Each loftier passion left its wonted throne,
  And from the trembling soul a moment fled;
Dear Sensibility then claims her own,
  He who in victory Pity captive lead!        40
 
The pæans swell, with solemn musings fraught,
  Nor raised the heart, nor tranquillized the soul—
Back to the world that fleeting form it brought;
  Of him endear’d by Virtue’s soft control.
 
Columbia long for such a son shall mourn;        45
  The stranger oft shall pause upon his grave;
And many a hand shall decorate his urn,
  And love to stay where sleeps the fallen brave.
 
The patriot here his votive wreath shall twine,
  Long shall he glory in the warrior’s name—        50
The name of Lawrence purity enshrine,
  Who fought for freedom, hallow’d is by fame.
 
 
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