Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
To the Memory of the Brave Americans under General Greene, in South Carolina, Who Fell in the Action of September 8, 1781
By Philip Freneau (1752–1832)
 
AT Eutaw springs the valiant died:
Their limbs with dust are covered o’er—
Weep on, ye springs, your tearful tide;
How many heroes are no more!
 
If in this wreck of ruin, they        5
Can yet be thought to claim a tear,
O smite thy gentle breast, and say
The friends of freedom slumber here!
 
Thou, who shalt trace this bloody plain,
If goodness rules thy generous breast,        10
Sigh for the wasted rural reign;
Sigh for the shepherds, sunk to rest!
 
Stranger, their humble graves adorn;
You too may fall, and ask a tear:
’T is not the beauty of the morn        15
That proves the evening shall be clear.
 
They saw their injured country’s wo;
The flaming town, the wasted field;
Then rush’d to meet the insulting foe;
They took the spear—but left the shield.        20
 
Led by thy conquering genius, Greene,
The Britons they compell’d to fly:
None distant view’d the fatal plain,
None grieved, in such a cause to die.
 
But, like the Parthian, famed of old,        25
Who, flying, still their arrows threw;
These routed Britons, full as bold,
Retreated, and retreating slew.
 
Now rest in peace our patriot band;
Though far from nature’s limits thrown,        30
We trust, they find a happier land,
A brighter sunshine of their own.
 
 
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