Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
To the Memory of Brig. General Zebulon Montgomery Pike
By William Ray (1771–1827)
Who fell at the capture of Little York, U. C., April 27, 1813

  IF ever angels, from the blissful skies,
Look down on mortals with benignant eyes,
’Tis when the brave repose in Heaven their trust,
Whose cause is righteous, and whose views are just;
’Tis on the hero, who, when duty calls,        5
O’er death triumphant, nobly fights and falls:
If ever grief intrudes on heavenly bliss,
’Tis when such scenes occur—a sight like this;
A scene which caused our sorrowing hearts to swell,
When Pike so recently in battle fell.        10
  Loved by all ranks, revered wherever known,
His name a terror to his foes alone;
In whom the virtues all were seen to blend,
In war an enemy, in peace a friend;
Offspring of honour, Valour’s favourite child,        15
Calm, but determined—spirited, but mild;
Stern, though not haughty; affable, though grave;
Politely resolute, humanely brave;
In discipline not cruelly severe;
His soldiers loved him with a filial fear:        20
Prompt to their needs of what to each belongs,
Just to their rights, attentive to their wrongs;
He knew the spirit of the man to save,
To lead the soldier, not to drive the slave;
To infuse that valour which he himself possess’d        25
Through all his ranks, in every private’s breast.
  In early youth his country’s arms he bore,
When the drear western wilds he traversed o’er;
In early youth he caught the patriot’s flame,
And planted laurels in the field of fame;        30
The growth luxuriant subsequently spread,
And twined, as if by instinct, round his head.
Though now in death her warrior’s corse lies low,
On his moist grave perpetual wreaths shall grow;
Year after year reflourish, and be seen        35
To wear a livelier hue, a brighter green.

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