Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Battle of Bridgewater
“Neutra acies laeta ex certamine abiit.”—LIVY.

O’ER Huron’s wave the sun was low,
The weary soldier watch’d the bow
Fast fading from the cloud below
      The dashing of Niagara.
And while the phantom chain’d his sight,        5
Ah! little thought he of the fight—
The horrors of the dreamless night,
      That posted on so rapidly.
Soon, soon is fled each softer charm;
The drum and trumpet sound alarm        10
And bid each warrior nerve his arm
      For boldest deeds of chivalry.
The burning red-cross, waving high,
Like meteor in the evening sky,
Proclaims the haughty foemen nigh        15
      To try the strife of rivalry.
Columbia’s banner floats as proud,
Her gallant band around it crowd,
And swear to guard or make their shroud
      The starred flag of liberty.        20
“Haste, haste thee, Scott, to meet the foe,
And let the scornful Briton know,
Well strung the arm and firm the blow
      Of him who strikes for liberty.”
Loud, loud the din of battle rings        25
Shrill through the ranks the bullet sings,
And onward fierce each foeman springs
      To meet his peer in gallantry.
Behind the hills descends the sun,
The work of death is but begun,        30
And red through twilight’s shadows dun
      Blazes the vollied musketry.
“Charge, Miller, charge the foe once more,”
And louder than Niagara’s roar
Along the line is heard, encore,        35
      “On, on to death or victory.”
From line to line, with lurid glow,
High arching shoots the rocket’s bow,
And lights the mingled scene below
      Of carnage, death, and misery.        40
The middle watch has now begun,
The horrid battle-fray is done,
Nor longer beats the furious drum,
      To death, to death or victory.
All, all is still—with silent tread        45
The watchman steals among the dead,
To guard his comrade’s lowly bed,
      Till morning give him sepulture.
Low in the west, of splendor shorn,
The midnight moon with bloody horn        50
Sheds her last beam on him, forlorn,
      Who fell in fight so gloriously.
O! long her crescent wax and wane
Ere she behold such fray again,
Such dismal night, such heaps of slain,        55
      Foe mix’d with foe promiscuously.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.