Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
To the Memory of Tench Tilghman, Esq.
 
Of Baltimore, Maryland

YE muses! weep o’er Tilghman’s sacred tomb,
And plant around it flowers of endless bloom:
O! be it yours to eternize his name,
And sound your lyres to his immortal fame:
And thou, O Honour, parent of the brave,        5
Keep constant vigils at the soldier’s grave;
Let no rude step profane the awful shade,
Where pious hands have now his ashes laid.
Thou too, Columbia,—mistress of the soil,
To whom devoted was his martial toil,        10
Place high his ensigns—in that pile august,
Which thou shalt raise hereafter from the dust,
To hold the archives of thy splendid reign,
And all thy warlike trophies to contain!
O think! how faithful in each trying hour        15
Thy Tilghman fought, to elevate thy power;
And let a tear drop grateful on his urn,
Which honour guards and all the muses mourn.
O, Death!—how sure the arrows sped by thee!
Could worth have stay’d them—Tilghman had been free:        20
But no—thy altars glory in the tide
Of precious blood—by fall of chiefs supplied.
Who next shall yield to thy relentless stroke,
Which, while it tears the ivy, threats the oak?
What nobler victim can thy grasp attain,        25
Till his great master falls amid the slain!
O, Washington! thy Aid is gone before
To sound thy glories on that deathless shore,
Where rest the great—the good of every age,
Who deck the poet’s or historian’s page:        30
The crowd illustrious now await thy flight
From shades terrestrial, to eternal light,
Where, to the laurels, thine so justly now,
They’ll add a wreath immortal to thy brow.
This scene triumphal—’tis thy Aid prepares,        35
And thus he soothes his absence from thy cares.
 
  What various honours, Tilghman, knew thy days?
The warrior’s trophy—bound with civic bays.
Whether as merchant, patriot, or friend,
Husband or parent, we alike commend.        40
In every walk form’d equally to shine:
Thine were the social, all the virtues thine.
 
  A friend inscribes this column to thy praise,
With mournful heart—but with imperfect lays,
Enough for him—if true to Merit’s claim,        45
These lines attest how spotless was thy fame,
And call some bard more skill’d, in future verse,
Thy splendid deeds more nobly to rehearse,
In times when poets shall arise to crown
America’s great worthies with renown.        50
 
 
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