Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
To the Memory of the Brave Americans
By Philip Freneau (1752–1832)
Under General Greene, in South Carolina, who fell in the action of September 8, 1781

AT Eutaw Springs the valiant died:
  Their limbs with dust are cover’d o’er—
Weep on, ye springs, your tearful tide;
  How many heroes are no more!
If in this wreck of ruin, they        5
  Can yet be thought to claim a tear,
O, smite your gentle breast, and say,
  The friends of freedom slumber here!
Thou who shalt trace this bloody plain,
  If goodness rules thy generous breast        10
Sigh for the wasted rural reign;
  Sigh for the shepherds sunk to rest!
Stranger, their humble graves adorn;
  You too may fall and ask a tear:
’Tis not the beauty of the morn        15
  That proves the evening shall be clear.
They saw their injured country’s woe;
  The flaming town, the wasted field;
Then rush’d to meet the insulting foe;
  They took the spear—but left the shield.        20
Led by thy conquering genius, Greene,
  The Britons they compell’d to fly:
None distant view’d the fatal plain,
  None grieved in such a cause to die.
But like the Parthian famed of old,        25
  Who, flying, still their arrows threw;
These routed Britons, full as bold,
  Retreated and retreating slew.
Now rest in peace, our patriot band;
  Though far from Nature’s limits thrown,        30
We trust they find a happier land,
  A brighter sunshine of their own.

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