Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
On the Death of Commodore Bainbridge
By H. S. Gibson
 
THE DRUMS were muffled and reversed the arms,
  And, lower’d on its staff the banner sheet
Was bound with mourning’s badge—war’s loud alarms
  Were hush’d, and lightly trod the soldiers’ feet
The listless earth, who follow’d to the grave        5
  Our country’s champion—the navy’s pride:
Thus fall the gallant, and thus sink the brave
  In glory’s lap at last, like him who died.
 
Still roar the surges of the mighty sea,
  And still the tempest rages on the deep;        10
But ocean’s voice can ne’er awaken thee,
  Nor call thee back to life for whom we weep.
Son of the sea, and hero of the waves,
  Where dwells thy spirit since it left the world?
With Freedom! Freedom! not among the graves,        15
  But where salvation’s banners are unfurl’d.
 
The power receives it back that gave it birth,
  That Liberty might feel its influence here;
Here, where the dauntless heroes of the earth
  Brave death and danger in its stormy sphere;        20
Who live for all mankind as champions live,
  That meet in peril’s hour thy country’s foes;
And die as thou hast died—and fame doth give
  A nation’s tears to hallow thy repose.
 
Sleep, thou whose battle-field was ocean’s breast,        25
  Whose vast dominions stretch from pole to pole;
Immortal honour hovers round thy rest—
  Sleep! till the ocean can no longer roll
Its waves from shore to shore;
  And slumber till thy spirit shall arise,        30
Where blissful peace remains forevermore,
  And war’s loud thunders cannot shake the skies.
Thy sword sought not its sheath till we were free,
Till thou thy country’s tears proved worthy thee.
 
 
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