Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Lake Erie
By William Bingham Tappan (1794–1849)
 
September 10, 1813

’TIS midnight, the dark wave of Erie flows lone,
  Mid the gloom of the forest that shadows it round;
The slow-winding surge lends its deep sullen moan
  And the hoarse winds reluctantly echo the sound.
 
’Tis midnight, and see mid the gleam of the wave,        5
  Where ’neath the cold ray their sad vigils they keep—
In the mists of the foaming, the souls of the brave,
  As all lonely they march o’er the cliff of the deep!
 
’Tis midnight; they tell when the thunder of war
  Proclaim’d the approach of the dark battle fray;        10
When the blast and the death-drum roll’d deeply and far,
  While the angel of blood hovered high o’er his prey.
 
Look afar, ’tis hope’s symbol, the flag of the free!
  Through the red cloud it gleams on the war-shatter’d mast.
Proud stars! soon the types of stern triumph to be,        15
  Bright pledge of the future, the pride of the past.
 
The tall barks in merciless conflict have near’d,
  Death gleams on the blade as they charge on the foe;
And hark! ’tis the shouting of victory heard,
  Columbia, thy foemen in battle are low!        20
 
’Neath the dark waves of Erie now slumber the brave,
  In the bed of its waters forever they rest;
The flag of their glory floats over their grave;
  The souls of the heroes in memory are bless’d.
 
 
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