Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Last Veteran of the Revolution
By William Bingham Tappan (1794–1849)
I SAW the hoary warrior-chief,
  Whose sternly proud, but blighted form,
Proclaim’d him worn with bitter grief,
  An oak amid the pelting storm.
Of those whose crimson tide imbrued        5
  The fields where Albion’s glory fell;
Of those who oft undaunted stood,
  When cannons peal’d the hero’s knell—
He was the last—the only head
  Was his, that waved with wintry bloom;        10
Surviving all, for all had sped;
  They slept in honour’s laurell’d tomb.
He gazed—alas! he gazed in vain,
  To meet the comrades of his toil;
Copatriots on the gory plain,        15
  Companions in the victor spoil.
All, all around was sad and drear,
  And naught could grief of years beguile;
For him, condolence had no tear,
  For him, affection wore no smile.        20
I saw—and, lo! the warrior slept;
  The war-worn veteran joined the brave;
The genius of Columbia wept,
  And freedom’s wreath bedeck’d his grave.

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