Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Fields of War
By Isaac McLellan (1806–1899)
          The leaders of the war of the Revolution are seen, by Fancy’s eye, to take their stations on the mount of Remembrance. They come from the embattled cliffs of Abraham; they start from the heaving sods of Bunker Hill; they gather from the blazing lines of Saratoga and Yorktown—from the blood-dyed waters of the Brandywine, from the dreary snows of Valley-Forge, and all the hard-fought fields of the war.

THEY rise, by stream and yellow shore,
  By mountain, moor, and fen;
By weedy rock and torrent hoar,
  And lonesome forest-glen!
From many a woody, moss-grown mound,        5
  Start forth a war-worn band,
As when, of old, they caught the sound
Of hostile arms, and closed around—
  To guard their native land.
Hark! to the clanging horn—        10
  Hark! to the rolling drum!
Arms glitter in the flash of morn—
  The hosts to battle come!
The serried files, the plumed troop,
  Are marshall’d once again,        15
Along the Hudson’s mountain-group,
  Along the Atlantic main!
On Bunker, at the dead of night,
I seem to view the raging fight,
The burning town, the smoky height,        20
  The onset, the retreat!
And, down the banks of Brandywine,
I see the levell’d bayonets shine
And lurid clouds of battle twine,
  Where struggling columns meet.        25
Yorktown and Trenton blaze once more,
And by the Delaware’s frozen shore
The hostile guns at midnight roar,
  The hostile shouts arise;
The snows of Valley-Forge grow red,        30
And Saratoga’s field is spread
With heaps of undistinguish’d dead,
  And fill’d with dying cries!
’Tis o’er; the battle-shout has died
By ocean, stream, and mountain-side:        35
And the bright harvest, far and wide,
  Waves o’er the blood-drench’d field;
The rank grass o’er it greenly grows—
And oft the upturning shares disclose
The buried arms and bones of those        40
  Who fell, but would not yield!
Time’s rolling chariot hath effaced
The very hillocks, where were placed
The bodies of the dead in haste,
  When closed the furious fight;        45
The ancient fort and rampart-mound
Long since have settled to the ground,
  On Bunker’s famous height—
And the last relics of the brave
Are sinking to oblivion’s grave!        50

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