Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Scar of Lexington
By Hannah Flagg Gould (1789–1865)
 
WITH cherub smile the prattling boy,
  Who on the veteran’s breast reclines,
Has thrown aside his favourite toy,
  And round his tender finger twines
Those scatter’d locks, that with the flight        5
Of fourscore years are snowy white;
And, as a scar arrests his view,
He cries, “Grandpa’, what wounded you?”
 
“My child, ’tis five-and-fifty years
  This very day, this very hour,        10
Since from a scene of blood and tears,
  Where valour fell by hostile power,
I saw retire the setting sun
Behind the hills of Lexington;
While pale and lifeless on the plain        15
My brothers lay, for freedom slain!
 
“And ere that fight, the first that spoke
  In thunder to our land, was o’er,
Amid the clouds of fire and smoke
  I felt my garments wet with gore!        20
’Tis since that dread and wild affray,
That trying, dark, eventful day,
From this calm April eve so far,
I wear upon my cheek the scar.
 
“When thou to manhood shalt be grown,        25
  And I am gone in dust to sleep,
May freedom’s rights be still thine own,
  And thou and thine in quiet reap
The unblighted product of the toil
In which my blood bedew’d the soil!        30
And while those fruits thou shalt enjoy,
Bethink thee of this scar, my boy.
 
“But, should thy country’s voice be heard
  To bid her children fly to arms,
Gird on thy grandsire’s trusty sword;        35
  And, undismay’d by war’s alarms,
Remember, on the battle-field,
I made the hand of God my shield:
And be thou spared, like me, to tell
What bore thee up, while others fell.”        40
 
 
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