Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Plain of Lexington
By Robert Francis Astrop
GREAT plain! exalted are thy plants indeed—
Fed with the blood of patriots, who here did bleed:
Thine is the mighty fame to quench thy thirst
With streams from hearts that bled for Freedom first.
The stage on which that goddess thrust aside        5
The tyrant’s shackles, and for vengeance cried.
Long triumph’d o’er, at last she struck the blow,
And hurl’d her raging eagles on the foe.
The sun that morn that smiled upon the scene,
In fame embalm’d this consecrated green,        10
And warm’d with ardour every patriot son,
To point, in fight for liberty, a gun.
Here first our sires the despot’s rage did face,
Here burn’d the genuine ardour of our race;
First met they here to pass the dreadful test.        15
The infant’s heart, the tyrant’s shielded breast.
Thy mould drank deep of the oppressor’s gore,
First by our injured fathers made to pour:
Ye trembled for their sakes at every peal,
And fearful heard the clashing of our steel.        20
But rest contented; though a few did fall,
Alone they fell not; and they died for all.
Henceforth, when nations proudly wear the chain,
They oft will think of Lexington’s red plain,
All crimson’d with the blood of tyrants slain;        25
And shall, more confidential, dare believe
That God the virtuous will sure reprieve.
No doubt when Greece and France sware to be free,
And patriotic Poland thought of thee,
The tyrant thinks upon thy name with dread,        30
And binds less hard, to save his guilty head.
Thou art the first of many a bloody field
Where slaves and kings alternatively yield:
Led forth to battle to oppose God’s laws,
And led to fight in Liberty’s good cause.        35
The flame which burn’d here, though in blood oft drench’d,
Has never yet, nor ever will be quench’d,
Until the luminary there which rose
Shall have exterminated Freedom’s foes;
Though Bunker’s Hill, and many a hill beside,        40
Thick set with steel, the lawless power defied,
Yet for Columbia’s freedom first did run
The blood of tyranny, at Lexington.
Repose, full honour’d, freedom-yielding plain,
The happy harvest, which is reap’d with pain;        45
But once secured, we far more cheerful dine,
And know that virtue and liberty combine.

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