Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
          On Lieut. Col. Wood, of the engineer corps; who was killed, while leading the advance of the American forces, at the sortie from Fort Erie, 17th Sept. 1814.

O’ER Erie’s wave the moonbeam plays,
  And silvers all the woodland scene;—
Niagara’s stream reflects the rays,
  Midst copses wild, and banks of green.
But never more shall moonbeam light        5
  The chief, who fell with battling brand:
His star, which shone with lustre bright,
  Shall never more its rays expand.
Round Erie’s fortress, gleaming far,
  What time the red-cross banner waved,        10
High in the front of furious war,
  The youthful chief each danger braved.
In other fields, he earlier stood
  The champion of his country’s right;—
On Meigs’ proud ramparts, unsubdued,        15
  And nerved the patriot’s arm to fight.
On Chippewa’s ensanguined plain;
  Near bold Niagara’s foaming shore:—
High waved his blade midst martial train,
  And foremost clash’d in war’s wild roar.        20
At length arose that fatal morn,
  When red-cross met the banner’d star;
The bugle’s notes, the pealing horn,
  Breathed forth the echoing blast of war.
With dauntless heart, and eagle eye,        25
  Wood marshals all the vanward train:
Above their ranks his banners fly,
  Like sea-birds curling o’er the main.
Fierce is the shock, when lance to lance,
  In death commix’d the squadrons join:        30
The war-cloud breaks, where Wood’s advance
  Pours volley’d lightnings down the line.
Hark! with loud shout, glad victory’s sound
  Peals on the air its loud acclaim,
Columbia’s heroes throng around:        35
  Heroes who grace each roll of fame.
But where is He, whose genius plann’d:
  Whose high emprise dread perils sought?
Where the bold leader of the band,
  That in the van of battle fought?        40
The warrior comes not from the fray,
  To greet the view of comrades dear:
No more to lead the bold array!
  No more the spangled flag to rear!
On battle plain his spirit sped,        45
  And join’d the hosts of heroes brave
Who erst on Fame’s proud fields have bled,
  Their country’s dearest rights to save.
Long shall that country mourn his doom,
  Long Freedom drop her choicest tear;        50
And weeping Glory oft shall roam,
  To spread her laurels o’er his bier.

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