Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
The Conqueror
By Hannah F. Gould (1789–1865)
THERE ’S blood on the laurel that wreathes his brow,
  And the death-cry delights his ear!
The widow is wailing his victory, now,
  And his meed is the orphan’s tear!
But the might of his arm shall lose its dread,        5
  For a mightier foe comes near;
The plume must be stripp’d from the conqueror’s head,
  To nod o’er the conqueror’s bier!
Alone he must march to the terrible fight,
  For there is no army to save!        10
His glory must set in an endless night,
  And his honors shall hide in the grave!
He must measure the darksome valley alone,
  Assail’d by remorse and fear;
Nor rod, nor staff help the traveller on,        15
  Nor is there a comforter near.
He sinks! and none shall his requiem sound,
  Nor sprinkle his turf with tears;
His head with a clod of the vale is crown’d,
  And a shroud is the buckler he wears.        20
His terrible spirit has spurn’d its clay,
  As a rampart, too weak and thin,
And shivering, and naked hath past away
  From the house where it dwelt to sin,
But who shall follow the fugitive home        25
  When his last great battle is o’er;
Or, the curtain remove, when it veils the doom
  Of the soul on an untried shore!

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