Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Death of Allen
By William Leggett (1801–1839)
 
           Multis ille bonis flebilis occidit,
Nulli flebilior quam tibi.
VIRGIL.    

AND on the wave, Columbia’s hardy band,
Who’ve shed such glory round our native land;
Who’ve borne her banner through the storms of war,
Undimm’d, unsullied, to each foreign shore;
Before the lustre of whose starry light        5
Britannia’s lion fled approach of fight;
That band now mourns o’er many a spirit brave,
By fell disease hurl’d to an early grave.
Their duty call’d them from the charms of home,
Against the ruffians on the wave to roam:        10
At length returning towards their native sky,
Hope in each heart, and pleasure in each eye,
The yellow demon seal’d their timeless doom;
They reach’d their country—but to find a tomb!
 
  But, Allen, thou! O! at thy honour’d name,        15
The muse, indignant, mounts on wings of flame!
So young, so brave—so vainly brave! to fall
By the foul fiends who war alike on all!
Who youth, nor age, nor sex, nor beauty save,
Mock at their plaints, and plunge them in the wave!        20
The helpless babe and shrieking mother feel
Alike the keenness of the murderous steel!
Or, when they spare, ’tis with intent so base,
Their death were better than the deep disgrace.
 
  Spirit of vengeance! wherefore dost thou sleep?        25
Arise! and scourge these hell-hounds from the deep!
From the far grave where murder’d Allen lies,
Revenge! revenge! his shade incessant cries.
 
  The breeze was fair that bore him on his way;
“And hope was o’er him with her angel lay:”        30
The moon was up; and o’er the heaving main
Beam’d sweetly down from heaven’s unclouded plain;
And while his bark swift cleaved the sparkling tide,
His thoughts were wandering by the Hudson’s side;
His distant home in memory’s softest hue,        35
His mother—sisters—rise to fancy’s view;
His heart beats high; “Thou’lt meet them soon again!”
’Twas thus hope sung; but, ah! how false the strain!
 
  He hears of outrage done by ruffian hordes,
Whose savage hearts are harder than their swords.        40
At suffering’s cry he ne’er was known to wave;
His hand was ready, and his soul was brave!
He meets the foe; he conquers!—O, the rest!—
The fatal bullet lodges in his breast;
He falls! as crimson life gush’d out, he cried,        45
“Tell them I bravely fought, and bravely died.”
 
  Mother of Allen! weep not for your son!
His race was glorious, but too soon ’twas run!
Yet weep not! Vengeance sleeps, she is not dead;
She yet will thunder on his murderer’s head.        50
Sisters of Allen! dry your tearful eyes;
The hero’s soul hath flown to yonder skies;
And long his name, in memory’s holiest shrine,
Will wear the wreath which matchless virtues twine!
 
 
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