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It was a starry night in June ; the air was soft and still, When the “minute-men” from Cambridge came, and gathered
on the hill : Beneath us lay the sleeping town, around us frowned the fleet, But the pulse of freemen, not of slaves, within our bosoms
And every heart rose high with hope, as fearlessly we said, “We will be numbered with the free, or numbered with the
"Bring out the line to mark the trench, and stretch it on the
sward !" The trench is marked—the tools are brought—we utter not
a word, But stack our guns, then fall to work, with mattock and with
spade, A thousand men with sinewy arms, and not a sound is made : So still were we, the stars beneath, that scarce a whisper fell ; We heard the red-coat's musket click, and heard him cry,
“ All's well \"
And here and there a twinkling port, reflected on the deep, In many a wavy shadow showed their sullen guns asleep. Sleep on, thou bloody hireling crew! in careless slumber lie; The trench is growing broad and deep, the breast-work broad
and high : No striplings we, but bear the arms that held the French in
check, The drum that beat at Louisburgh, and thundered in Quebec ! And thou, whose promise is deceit, no more thy word we'll
trust, Thou butcher Gage! thy power and thee we'll humble in
the dust; Thou and thy tory minister have boasted to thy brood, "The lintels of the faithful shall be sprinkled with our blood !" But though these walls those lintels be, thy zeal is all in vain : A thousand freemen shall rise up for every freeman slain; And when o'er trampled crowns and thrones they raise the
mighty shout, This soil their Palestine shall be ! their altar this redoubt!
See how the morn is breaking ! the red is in the sky;
have spied, For the ruddy flash and round shot part in thunder from her
And the Falcon and the Cerberus make every bosom thrill, With gun and shell, and drum and bell, and boatswain's
But deep and wider grows the trench, as spade and mattock
ply, For we have to cope with fearful odds, and the time is draw
Up with the pine-tree banner! Our gallant PRESCOTT stands Amid the plunging shells and shot, and plants it with his hands: Up with the shout I for PUTNAM comes upon his reeking bay, With bloody spur and foamy bit, in haste to join the fray: And POMEROY, with his snow-white hairs, and face all flush
and sweat, Unscathed by French and Indian, wears a youthful glory yet.
But thou, whose soul is glowing in the summer of thy years, Unvanquishable WARREN, thou (the youngest of thy peers) Wert torn, and bred, and shaped, and made to act a patriot's
part, And dear to us thy presence is as heart's blood to the heart ! Well may ye bark, ye British wolves! with leaders such as
they, Not one will fail to follow where they choose to lead the way : As once before, scarce two months since, we followed on your
track, And with our rifles marked the road ye took in going back. Ye slew a sick man in his bed; ye slew, with hands accursed, A mother nursing, and her blood fell on the babe she nursed : By their own doors our kinsmen fell and perished in the strife ; But as we hold a hireling's cheap, and dear a freeman's life,
By Tanner brook and Lincoln bridge, before the shut of sun,
Hark! from the town a trumpet! The barges at the wharf
ing off ;
wing to wing.
gloom, As sullen as a tropic sky, and silent as a tomb.
And so we waited till we saw, at scarce ten rifles' length,
Then, staggered by the shot, we saw their serried columns
reel, And fall, as falls the bearded rye beneath the reaper's steel : And then arose a mighty shout that might have waked the
dead, “Hurrah! they run the field is won!” “Hurrah ! the foe
is fled !" And every man hath dropped his gun to clutch a neighbor's
hand, As his heart kept praying all the while for Home and Native
Thrice on that day we stood the shock of thrice a thousand
And thrice that day within our lines the shout of victory
And though our swift fire slackened then, and, reddening in
the skies, We saw, from Charlestown's roofs and walls, the flamy columns
rise ; Yet while we had a cartridge left, we still maintained the fight, Nor gained the foe one foot of ground upon that blood-stained
What though for us no laurels bloom, nor o'er the nameless
brave No sculptured trophy, scroll, nor hatch, records & warriorgrave?