Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
The Last Revolutionary
By Jesse Erskine Dow (1809–1850)
 
O! WHERE are they—those iron men,
  Who braved the battle’s storm of fire,
When war’s wild halo fill’d the glen,
  And lit each humble village spire;
When hill sent back the sound to hill,        5
And might was right, and law was will.
 
O! where are they, whose manly breasts
  Beat back the pride of England’s might,
Whose stalwart arm laid low the crests
  Of many an old and valiant knight;        10
When evening came with murderous flame,
And liberty was but a name?
 
I see them, in the distance, form
  Like spectres on a misty shore;
Before them rolls the dreadful storm,        15
  And hills send forth their rills of gore;
Around them death with lightning breath
Is twining an immortal wreath.
 
They conquer! God of glory, thanks!
  They conquer! Freedom’s banner waves        20
Above Oppression’s broken ranks,
  And withers o’er her children’s graves;
And loud and long the pealing song
Of jubilee is borne along.
 
’Tis evening, and December’s sun        25
  Goes swiftly down behind the wave,
And there I see a gray-hair’d one,
  A special courier to the grave;
He looks around on vale and mound,
Then falls upon his battle-ground.        30
 
Beneath him rests the hallow’d earth,
  Now changed like him, and still and cold;
The blood that gave young freedom birth
  No longer warms the warrior old;
He waves his hand with stern command,        35
Then dies, the last of Glory’s band.
 
 
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