Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
An Account of the Battle
 
          Between the people of Wyoming and the Indians, in the year 1778; in which two hundred of the Americans were unhappily sacrificed to the savage barbarity of some treacherous Americans and cruel savages; in a poem by a person then resident near the field of battle.

KIND Heaven, assist the trembling muse,
  While she attempts to tell
Of poor Wyoming’s overthrow,
  By savage hands that fell.
 
One hundred whites in painted hue,        5
  Whom Butler there did lead,
Supported by a barbarous crew
  Of the fierce savage breed.
 
The last of June the siege began,
  And several days it held;        10
While many a brave and valiant man
  Lay slaughter’d on the field.
 
Our troops march’d from the Forty fort,
  The third day of July,
Three hundred strong, they march’d along,        15
  The fate of war to try.
 
But ah! alas! three hundred men
  Is much too small a band
To meet eight hundred men complete,
  And make a glorious stand;        20
 
Four miles we marched from the fort,
  Our enemies to meet,
Too far indeed did Butler lead,
  To keep a safe retreat.
 
And now the fatal hour is come,        25
  They bravely charged the foe;
And they with ire return’d the fire,
  Which proved our overthrow.
 
Some minutes they sustain’d the fire,
  But ere they were aware        30
They were encompass’d all around,
  Which proved a fatal snare.
 
And now they did attempt to fly,
  But all is now in vain;
The little host, by far the most,        35
  Was by these Indians slain.
 
And as they fly for quarters cry,
  O! hear, indulgent Heaven;
Hard to relate, the dreadful fate,
  No quarters must be given.        40
 
With bitter cries and mournful sighs,
  They seek for some retreat,
Here and there, they know not where,
  Till awful death they meet.
 
Their piercing cries salute the skies,        45
  “Mercy,” is all their cry;
“Our souls prepare thy grace to share,
  We instantly must die.”
 
Some men were found a flying round,
  Sagacious to get clear;        50
In vain to fly, the foe so nigh,
  The front, the flank, and rear.
 
And now the foe hath won the day,
  Methinks their words were these:
“You cursed, rebel, Yankee race,        55
  With this your Congress please?
 
“Your pardon’s cause you then shall have,
  We hold them in our hands;
We all agree to set them free
  By dashing out their brains.        60
 
“And as for you enlisted men,
  We’ll raise your honours higher;
Pray turn your eyes where you must lie,
  In yonder burning fire.”
 
The naked in these flames were cast,        65
  Too dreadful ’tis to tell;
Where they must fry and burn and die,
  While cursed Indians yell.
 
No age nor life these tigers spare,
  The youth and hoary head        70
Were by those monsters murder’d there,
  And number’d with the dead.
 
Methinks I hear some sprightly youth
  His awful state condole;
“O! that my tender parents knew        75
  The agony of my soul.
 
“But O! these cries can’t spare my life,
  Or heal my dreadful fear;
I see the tomahawk and knife
  And the more glittering spear.        80
 
“Few years ago I dandled was
  Upon my parent’s knee,
I little thought I should be here
  In this sad misery.
 
“I hoped for many a joyful day;        85
  I hoped for riches there;
Alas! these dreams are fled away,
  And I shall be no more.
 
“Farewell, my friends! O, that I was
  Freed from this savage race:        90
Your hearts would ache and nearly break
  If you could know my case.
 
“Farewell, indulgent parents dear,
  I must resign my breath;
I now must die, and here must lie        95
  In the cold arms of death.
 
“But O! the fatal hour is come!
  I see the bloody knife!
The Lord have mercy on my soul;—
  I yield to thee my life.”        100
 
 
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