Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
A Western War Song
By Richard Dabney (1787?–1825)
 
TO the north-western wilds, has our gallant youth gone—
Though his breast, with a tempest of feeling, was torn,
Yet he scorn’d a weak tear, and disdained a weak sigh—
He is wedded to vengeance, or bounden to die,
For the horror-fraught fate of the victim so dear        5
To the heart of the hero, the brave volunteer.
 
On his dauntless steed borne, he hastens to ride,
On his shoulder his rifle, his sword by his side—
O’er rivers, through forests, like the swift wind he flies
To the sounds, that he pants for, the battle-field’s cries.        10
For wedded to vengeance, and stranger to fear,
Is the heart of the hero, the brave volunteer.
 
Hurra, at Moravia, that battle-cry wakes,
From the ranks the dire peal of the musketry breaks.
The brave volunteer, ’midst the death-flashing cloud,        15
Invokes the dear name of the murdered, aloud;
Then quick to the charge, with his death-dealing blow,
Pours his wrath on the friends of the hatchet and bow.
For wedded to vengeance, a stranger to fear,
Is the soul of the hero, the brave volunteer.        20
 
At that dread hour of night, when his cherish’d love bled,
And her mangled form slept with the massacred dead,
He had sworn a dread oath, that his rifle and steel,
On the merciless demons, deep vengeance should deal,
For the horror-fraught fate of the victim so dear        25
To the heart of the hero, the brave volunteer.
 
Then joy to the brave volunteer, who has sped
To the wilds of the north-west, where thousands have bled,
Who, wedded to vengeance, a dread oath has sworn,
On the arms of his comrades, a corse to be borne;        30
Or the deep debt of vengeance in tenfold to deal
On the merciless fiends, with his rifle and steel,
For the soul-harrowing scathe of the victim so dear
To the heart of the hero, the brave volunteer.
 
 
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