Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Queenstown Heights
By a Lady

YES, there they bled!—the gallant few,
  Who, in their injured country’s cause,
To arms and righteous vengeance flew;
  Nor dared, when honour called, to pause.
And here they stood!—the recreant race!—        5
  But who the shameful deed shall tell;
Or who record the black disgrace
Which on thy name, Columbia! fell?
Yet vain the hope that deed to hide!
  Accusing spirits mark’d the crime;        10
No seraph’s tear—no Lethean tide,
  Shall blot it from the roll of time.
For here they stood!—and whilst each sigh
  Which closed a patriot’s bright career,
Rose to the mercy-seat on high,        15
  And sought that boon it found not here,—
Unmoved the harden’d phalanx view’d
  The doubtful fortune of the day;
Unpitying—saw the brave subdued—
  Unaiding—saw the brave give way.        20
O! worse than death, the coward’s fate!
  “To tinge a mother’s cheek with shame,”
To bear a bleeding country’s hate—
  To stigmatize a father’s name!
Yet friendship to the coward heart        25
  Might drive the refluent tide again,
And to the nerveless arm impart
  Strength, to avenge a brother slain.
But tender friendship was not there,
  (Nor aught of heavenly birth beside,)        30
She sought the thickest of the war,
  And fell—where truth and valour died.
For faction, brooding o’er the field,
  Had made each traitor heart her own,
And party spirit’s gorgon shield        35
  Turned e’en Columbia’s sons to stone!

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