Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Alligator
By John Gardiner Calkins Brainard (1795–1828)
THAT 1 steed has lost his rider! I have seen
His snuffing nostril, and his pawing hoof;
His eyeball lighting to the cannon’s blaze,
His sharp ear pointed, and each ready nerve,
Obedient to a whisper;—his white mane        5
Curling with eagerness, as if it bore,
To squadron’d foes, the sign of victory,
Where’er his bounding speed could carry it.
But now, with languid step, he creeps along,
Falters, and groans, and dies.

                    And I have seen
Yon foundering vessel, when with crowding sail,
With smoking bulwarks and with blazing sides,
Sporting away the foam before her prow,
And heaving down her side to the brave chase,
She seem’d to share the glories of the bold!        15
But now with flagging canvass, lazily
She moves; and stumbling on the rock, she sinks,
As broken-hearted as that faithful steed,
That lost his rider, and laid down, and died.
Note 1. The United States schooner Alligator was wrecked on her return from the West India station, after the murder, by the pirates, of her commander, Captain Allen. [back]

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