When Might Was Right

Image by Don Troiani at the Old Glory Gallery and Frame Shoppe  website

The Last Soldier of the Revolution.

Oh! where are they — those iron men,
Who braved the battle’s storm of fire,
When war’s wild hallo filled the glen,
And lit each humble village spire?
When hill sent back the sound to hill,
And might was right, and law was will?

Oh! where are they whose manly breasts
Beat back the pride of England’s might,
Whose stalwart arms laid low the crests
Of many an old and valiant knight?
When evening came with murderous flame,
And Liberty was but a name.

I see them in the distance form,
Like spectres on the misty shore,
Before them rolls the dreadful storm,
And hills send forth their rills of gore;
Around them death with lightning breath,
Is twining an immortal wreath.

‘Tis evening, and the setting sun
Sinks slowly down beneath the wave,
And there I see a gray-haired one —
A special courier to the grave;
He looks around on vale and mound,
And falls upon the battle ground.

Beneath him sleeps the hallowed earth,
Now chilled 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,
Then dies the last of glory’s band.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Oct 6, 1845

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