Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
II. Freedom
New England’s Dead
Isaac McLellan (1806–1899)
 
NEW ENGLAND’S dead! New England’s dead!
  On every hill they lie;
On every field of strife, made red
  By bloody victory.
Each valley, where the battle poured        5
  Its red and awful tide,
Beheld the brave New England sword
  With slaughter deeply dyed.
Their bones are on the northern hill,
  And on the southern plain,        10
By brook and river, lake and rill,
  And by the roaring main.
 
The land is holy where they fought,
  And holy where they fell;
For by their blood that land was bought,        15
  The land they loved so well,
Then glory to that valiant band,
The honored saviours of the land!
 
O, few and weak their numbers were,—
  A handful of brave men;        20
But to their God they gave their prayer,
  And rushed to battle then.
The God of battles heard their cry,
And sent to them the victory.
 
They left the ploughshare in the mold,        25
Their flocks and herds without a fold,
The sickle in the unshorn grain,
The corn, half-garnered, on the plain,
And mustered, in their simple dress,
For wrongs to seek a stern redress,        30
To right those wrongs, come weal, come woe,
To perish, or o’ercome their foe.
 
And where are ye, O fearless men?
  And where are ye to-day?
I call:—the hills reply again        35
  That ye have passed away;
That on old Bunker’s lonely height,
  In Trenton, and in Monmouth ground,
The grass grows green, the harvest bright
  Above each soldier’s mound.        40
The bugle’s wild and warlike blast
  Shall muster them no more;
An army now might thunder past,
  And they heed not its roar.
The starry flag, ’neath which they fought        45
  In many a bloody day,
From their old graves shall rouse them not,
  For they have passed away.
 
 
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