Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Southern States: Yorktown, Va.
Yorktown
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)
 
(Excerpt)

FROM Yorktown’s ruins, ranked and still,
Two lines stretch far o’er vale and hill:
Who curbs his steed at head of one?
Hark! the low murmur: Washington!
Who bends his keen, approving glance        5
Where down the gorgeous line of France
Shine knightly star and plume of snow?
Thou too art victor, Rochambeau!
 
The earth which bears this calm array
Shook with the war-charger yesterday,        10
Ploughed deep with hurrying hoof and wheel,
Shot-sown and bladed thick with steel;
October’s clear and noonday sun
Paled in the breath-smoke of the gun,
And down night’s double blackness fell,        15
Like a dropped star, the blazing shell.
 
Now all is hushed: the gleaming lines
Stand moveless as the neighboring pines;
While through them, sullen, grim, and slow,
The conquered hosts of England go:        20
O’Hara’s brow belies his dress,
Gay Tarleton’s troop rides bannerless:
Shout, from thy fired and wasted homes,
Thy scourge, Virginia, captive comes!
 
Nor thou alone: with one glad voice        25
Let all thy sister States rejoice;
Let Freedom, in whatever clime
She waits with sleepless eye her time,
Shouting from cave and mountain wood
Make glad her desert solitude,        30
While they who hunt her quail with fear;
The New World’s chain lies broken here!
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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