Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Monmouth—1778
By William Dunlap (1766–1839)
 
    THE SUN his fiercest ray,
    On Monmouth’s bloody day,
  Shot ardent on the burning sands,
  Where Britain’s veteran bands
    Reluctant toil’d their slow, inglorious way.        5
  Lee, close upon their rear, their track pursued;
  Though oft attack’d, as oft they firmly stood,
  And gorged the thirsty plains with valiant blood!
Behind, bright Freedom’s banner flies unfurl’d,
    And every patriot bosom cheers,        10
    Where Washington himself appears,
      The glory of the world!
    Indignant thus to be pursued,
    The gallant Briton turns upon his foe;
      “Sound, sound the charge,” he cries,        15
      And to the combat flies:
    Like lightning rush the rapid horse,
    Resistless in their thundering course!
      O’erpowered—recoiling slow—
      Oft turning and returning on the foe,        20
Our fainting troops retreat for shelter to the wood.
    To stop the inglorious flight,
See where the first of men bursts glorious on the sight!
    “Advance! advance!” the hero cries!
    “Advance!” each echoing rank replies!        25
    Admiring Victory hears the word,
    Descending, lights upon his sword,
And flashes round his head insufferable light.
  The foe, appall’d, stops—falters—flies—
  And shouts of triumph rend the skies.        30
The war-worn Briton sullenly retires,
  Or sinks, without a wound,
  Exhausted on the ground,
And, scorch’d with thirst and heat, in agony expires!—
    Thus veteran valour        35
    Equal valour found;
  But Washington alone
  With Victory’s wreath is crown’d.
 
 
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