Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
June 17
Warren’s Address
By John Pierpont (1785–1866)
          This was the second battle of the Revolution to take place upon New England soil. It was fought in Charlestown, Mass., on June 17, 1775, and resulted in the Americans being obliged to retire owing to their ammunition giving out. The British forces outnumbered the American but their loss was far greater, though the Americans lost their leader, Joseph Warren.

STAND! the ground’s your own, my braves!
  Will ye give it up in slaves?
Will ye look for greener graves?
  Hope ye mercy still?
What’s the mercy despots feel?        5
  Hear it in that battle peal!
Read it on yon bristling steel!
  Ask it,—ye who will.
Fear ye foes who kill for hire?
  Will ye to your homes retire?        10
Look behind you!—they’re afire!
  And, before you, see
Who have done it! From the vale
On them come!—and will ye quail?
Leaden rain and iron hail        15
  Let their welcome be!
In the God of battles trust!
Die we may,—and die we must:
But, oh where can dust to dust
      Be consign’d so well,        20
As where Heaven its dews shall shed
On the martyr’d patriot’s bed,
And the rocks shall raise their head
  Of his deeds to tell?

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