The Battle of Bunker Hill, or The Temple of Liberty; an historic poem in four cantos.
Colonel William Emmons. 1792.
Emmons, Richard, b. 1788.
Emmons, William, ed. b. 1792, Boston, 1859.
University of Michigan - electronic books online.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL, OR THE TEMPLE OF LIBERTY; AN HISTORIC POEM IN FOUR CANTOS. COL. WILLIAM EMMONS, PROPRIETOR.
RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO THE FRIENDS OF RATIONAL LIBERTY THROUGHOUT THE WORLD TENTH EDITION. BOSTON: SEVENTEENTH OF JUNE. 1859.
Entered according to Act of Congress. In the ycar 1839. by William Emmons in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of New- York.
TO THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES.
THE publisher of this inspiring poem has appended several articles from the journals of the provincial Congress, relating to the early difficulties between the colonies and the mother country. Although mother, her conduct at that period was that of an unnatural one, yet his it been otherwise, instead of celebrating the day of our Nation's birth, in all human probability we should have been found among the worshippers of ENGLAND'S FAIR QUEEN. Those documents will go far to show the rising generations, the real character of those master spirits that moved the mighty ball of the revolution, who, through smoke and fire, and cannon's ire, fought on Bunker's Hill-infusing a determined spirit throughout the whole colonies, to break their shackles, and like men be free, to tyrants longer not to bend the knee. Then guard the dear-bought purchase with your lives, and give it to your seed. Should the circulation of this volume tend to cement us as a free people, in the bonds of union, without distinction, except that of virtue and vice; and to disseminate the broad principle, that the star-spangled banner should protect men of ALL NATIONS, and America be the asylum of the oppressed, and the home of the brave - my object will be effected. The public's obedient serv't,
BUNKER HILL. CANTO I.
BUNKER HILL. ARGUMENT. Subject proposed - Invocation
The immediate effect produced through New England by the battle of Lexington-The position of the American forces besieging the enemy in the town of Boston - The council of war-Generals Putnam and Prescott advance and occupy the heights of Charlestown - Colonel Gardner is stationed behind Bunker Hill with the reserved corps- At daylight Putnam repairs to Cambridge to procure a fresh horse and to solicit reinforcements-An episode. The scene is laid in Cambridge, Charlestown, and Lexington. The time is about sixteen hours-commencing at noon on the 16th of June, and ending at daylight on the 17th, 1775.
OF Bunker's height, where chosen spirits stood, And stain'd the folds of England's flag with blood. Diffident I sing. My loosed harp restrung, Allures me to attempt the lofty song. Indulgent Muse! with hallow'd impulse come, And the dark chambers of my mind illume - Give me to feel thy visitations nigh, And mount my soul on wings of transport high;
THE BATTLE OF
Grant me the power, past, buried scenes to see, That I may trace their living imagery. Place in my hand the silver key that throws the bolts of memory back; to me disclose the hidden treasures of her secret cell, that I, her brilliant jewels may reveal. And doth my heart thy influence perceive? Or does my mind a fancied charm believe? Thou ne'er hast left me drooping in despair, But seem'd to nurse me with maternal care; Hence not will I thy guardianship mistrust, That I estranged shall grovel in the dust - Methinks from heaven I see thee stoop thy wing, To bear me forth as I adventurous sing. Now when that Lexington's immortal plain received from martyrdom the sanguine stain, The patriots rose-their aspirations high, To seek redress or in resistance die. The ennobling cause was stamp'd on every brow, They knelt to heaven-they pledged the solemn vow To rid the land of tyrants and be free, Or sing a death-song for their jubilee.
The weeding harrow mid the corn is stay'd-- The hammer soundless on the anvil laid. The line and plummet rest upon the wall. The flocks no longer hear the shepherd's call. Forsaken reels the barge along the shore, the recent moisture dripping from the oar; The net remains half coiled upon the beach-- The halls are empty where preceptors teach. No more by woodman's axe the forest jars-- The urchin has forgot to fix the bars. Hence bellowing herds are straying from thd field, While war's harsh tocsin round the land is peaped. New Albion like a lioness appear'd - Robb'd of her sucklings, to her heart endear'd. Though scanty were her means, and these uncouth, Yet strengthen'd by inviolable truth, Her nerves became like ligatures of steel, Back from her soil th' aggressors to repel. Th' adventurous Putnam left unyoked his plough Amid the furrow, tyranny to bow. McClary, Prescott, Eustis, Thomas, pressed toward the shaft that quiver'd at their breast, And, from the bended bow, the arm arrest.
THE BATTLE OF Pearce, son of Hampshire, as her mountains free, panted to grapple with the enemy; Moore, Parker, Gardner, Gilman, Spencer, Stark, belted their arms to guard the nation's ark from the polluting
touch of slavery's hand, That dared to seize, to bar it from the land. Ward from the People's delegates received the first command, which merit had achieved. The illustrious Warren is a beacon light, that shines more brilliant as more dark the night. The Roinan-hearted Adams, Hancock, Church, Otis, and Quincy, stand in Freedom's porch To guard her altar and to feed the torch with oil more pure than ever vestals pour'd from hallow'd urns when they, high Heaven adored. Never the flame will from the torch expire, Till nations shall behold and catch the fire, And with its blaze illuminate the world. The rainbow-flag triumphantly unfurled! To keep the royalists in Boston pent, Jealous the patriots ev'ry effort bent: Stricken with years, Thomas on the right At Roxbury stood and waved his flag in light.
Page 11 From Connecticut.
He, in the Gallic war, that late was hush'd, undaunted on the spear of danger rush'd. Mayo and Waterbury, Parsons, firm with him combine to guard the precious germ of liberty, just budding from the earth, Soon to expand and send its branches forth. These from Connecticut. The gifted Greene Hails from Rhode Island state. Truth stamps his mien. In splendor, presently his name will rise, like a new star ascending in the skies.
Col. William Prescott
Reed, Parker, Whitcomb, Bigelow & Heath.
Bridge, Gardner, Nixon Buckminster & Frye.
The daring Prescott, central takes command-- His joy to dwell where brave men dread to stand. At Nova Scotia, he, with Winslow, learnt the art Of war-with courage belted on his heart. Reed, Parker, Whitcomb, Bigelow, and Heath, Who won at Lexington a fadeless wreath, Bridge, Gardner, Nixon, Buckminster, and Frye, Each emulous in glorious deeds to vie, enroll with Prescott to present their breast against the foe and his advance arrest. Stark on the left arranged.near Mystic stream, His memory from oblivion to redeem. McClary tower'd, an Ajax on the field, Hence, strength had he a ponderous sword to wield,
12 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. Pitcarn. Durkee.
Hall, Knowlton, Chester, Scammons.
Front of the lines, Putnam his standard raised, At which all eyes with pleasing reverence gazed
THREE VINES* transplanted to Columbia's shore, Which KNOWLEDGE, LIBERTY, RELIGION bore. These flourish'd on its folds;-opposite was given In golden splendor-AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN! Where Pitcarn struck the beach to push his band On Lexington, which roused a suffering land, The veteran prominent his station chose, to stop all egress of his butchering foes. Durkee was near him to sustain a part, Worthy the drama, bursting from the heart. When youth was on their brows, in olden time, They side by side in peril stood sublime. Hall, Knowlton, Chester, Scammons, him obeyed, And Woodbridge, chiefs whom never doubt dismay'd. Coit, with a stature to compare with Jove, Led saline Neptune's sons their might to prove; Like ocean in its rage they left the Thames to pour upon the foe the bursting flames. * Arms of Connecticut River Thames, Ct.
Dow, Little, Warner, Nutting, Perkins, Ford, Clark, Trevett.
13 From these not distant, Patterson took post, Full in the path to block the British host. Dow, Little, Warner, Nutting, Perkins, Ford, Clark, Trevett, Bancroft, high in daring soar'd, To carve their way to freedom with the sword. Each leader, prompted with a zealous pride, Soon with a mound his station fortified, That should the proud ones from the town advance, They might the battle-fire more deadly glance. This labor finishsd, restlessness began To spread and show itself from rear to vanA certain longing fearlessly to rise, And British pride and insolence chastise. Up the cerulean steep, the sun had driven His golden steeds,-till now, sublime in heaven, Panting they stand-their nostrils breathing flame, Which radiating, fills creation's frame, Causing the earth to smile with hope inspired, Fresh like a bride in gaudy robes attired. Now Greenleaf, a protector of the land, Escaped from Boston to inform the band, That Britain presently would sally forth, to force their lines or crush them to the earth. 9
14 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
He, Ward saluted, and to him in brief Stated the reasons prompting his belief. Ward, thus to Brooks his aid: " Ply spur and rein, - And each commander, marshalled on the plain, " Summons to meet me at the centre here, On measures to consult."
Putnam, Prescott, Gardner, Eustis, Stark, Viore, Gridley, Woodbridge, Buckminster, Clark -
McClary, Dearborn, Robinson and Ford. Palmer, Freeman, Osgood & White - Hawley, Otis, Quincy,
With ready ear filled rank the words, and like an arrow flew. And soon with each obtain'd an interview
With Putnam, Prescott, Gardner, Eustis, Stark; Vioore, Gridley, Woodbridge, Buckminster, and Clark; McClary, Dearborn, Robinson, with Ford of the artillery, whom strong passions stirred; Coit, Warner, Perkins, Brewer, Bancroft, Reed, And others, panting for adventurous deed. Within the halls of Harvard they convened, For now was science from her votaries screen'd By war's impending cloud. With looks sedate, Are seen the chosen guardians of the stateWarren and Palmer, Freeman, Osgood, White, Church-conservatives of the people's right; Hawley and Otis, Quincy, Watson, Orme, Statesmen unshrinking to abide the storm.
Page 15 Copp's Hill.
15 Greenleaf, amid anxiety arose, The events of threatening import to disclose: " Warriors! Compeers! By what their movements show, they for enlargement meditate a blow. " But recently, vast military stores "Have been collecting opposite the shores of Charlestown on the hill;*--there Pigot stands to watch our motions, which the site commands. The ponderous cannon on their creaking cars, jolting, portentious on the hearing jars. The streets at times are choked; the din of arms over the rough pavement causes wild alarms. " The children scream! Maids and matrons wring their hands, uttering strange shrieks most harrowing. The old men gaze in silence, while cold dews "Drip from their foreheads; others, Gage accuse us of treachery,- their weapons to obtain " Deceptious - then their egress to restrain. the whole exhibiting a city rent, " Requiring living eloquence to paint" Of which I hardly sketch'd a feeble outline faint. * Copps Hill.
16 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
Soon as the day-star harbingers the light, "An effort will be made for Bunker's height. " Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne, with thousands strong, have anchored in the bay. With clamorous tongues, they ask of Gage-imperious they demand "To burst the barriers-overawe the land. " I have this from confidential friends who have heard, " Who saw them vengeful seize upon the sword "and half unsheath it"---- "Let them draw it forth! Putnam abrupt. " We'll prove what men are worth! "When night prevails, we'll occupy the hill" There to the country will we make our will" To her the treasures of our hearts bequeath, "Should there we fall magnificent in death!" Ward, cautious in reply: " My thoughts suggest twill be too bold to venture on the crest " Of yonder summit. Their batteries, their fleet should presently our rude designs defeat. More prudent would it be "To here maintain our posts. and strengthen our defensive chain".
BUNKER HILL. 17
"Those hills that form a bulwark on our rear, "Will us secure against the bayonet-spear; " Of which keen weapon, none have we to wield, or to meet them breast to breast in open field. "Want, soon may force them through the lines to break, " And on the country an eruption make "Then be it ours to hover on their flanks, "And thus in detail waste, dissect their ranks, "Till they, through weakness, shall begin to reel, "And glad for shelter,.turn upon their heel."
Prescott, impatient, heard him to the close--He in the excitement of his feelings rose: "What! shall we tamely sacrifice the cause? " I scarce on measures to debate would pause. " It may be prudence to defer till night, " Before we make impression on the height; " But when the earliest star in heaven shall show, I will forth proceed-anticipate the foe. "Yea, raise a bulwark even to the shore, "And on their fleet the vollied thunders pour. " This on their hearts would an impression make "Of fear, their close imprisonment to break.
Page 18 Warren speaks.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL "Let not our hopes be placed in hill or mound, " But in our sinews let their strength be found. "A daring movement frequently appalls, more than the battering of the assailing balls. " While yet their wounds of Lexington arc green, so our new-raised banner should sublime be seen; "Yea, even hurl defiance at their rage, "And dare them single combat to engage." Prescott sat, hand upon the sword hard press'd, and Warren rose with deepening interest. There seem'd a struggling effort in his soul, Whether to express his thoughts, or them control. Disguise, his duty to the cause forbade, and thus his doubtings openly he laid " I know that each would an oblation give, "If free his country might from thraldom live; " But we should aim to make them purchase dear, " The drops of blood to sprinkle on our bier. "Is there not danger, while we keenly feel, " To rush too far our bosoms on their steel? ' What are our means the onset to begin? " The foe is strong in heavy discipline, " While scarce have we a bayonet to repel "The deadly charge, in which their troops excel!
BUNKER HILL. 19
"I admit we should succeed to intrench the height, "We could not hold it from their grasping might; Soon would their vessels batter down the walls too slender to resist their bombs and balls; "While opposite from Boston would explode huge trains of fire. Alas! I sad forebode, "Should we our standard - plant on yonder hill, without effect, our brightest veins would spill. "Should we an overthrow, but suffer now, "Would not our country in subjection bow? 'Twould quench the ardor that now burns to heaven, "And slavery's yoke would to her neck be given. " As to ourselves, an exit of disgrace is ours, if we our onward path retrace.
"We fall-or twine our brows with laurel-wreath. Our lot is cast-'tis liberty or death." "Liberty or death! our choice is made! We freemen live, or die upon our blade!"
They thus responsive. Warren thus proceeds. " With us our country either lives or bleeds; Hence unborn millions, as our fate may be, "will herd with slaves, or stand majestic, free!
Page 20 Washington
20 THE BATTLE BUNKER HILL - How rude are all our means to hurl the ball! " The canisters, thE inflaming dust, how small! " How soon will these exhaust upon the field? Then driven to despair, the cause is sealed! "Yet is our strength sufficient for us here, "To gall their flanks or to annoy their rear, should from the city they attempt again, "Audacious, to pollute the open plain. "Soon from the south will Washington arrive "With ample means to storm the royal hive. " It seems portentous in our present state, to advance, and war upon the edge of fate. " But should it here be otherwise decreed, We willfollow where the bravest chief may lead, " And struggle unto death to achieve the deed. "For when decision shall by vote be given, "Then with our swords must we appeal to heaven; "As different branches tend towards the stream, "So must our minds converge upon the theme. "Yea, must our hearts be moulded into one, And what we will determine shall be done." A pause ensued. A pausing that expressed A solemn feeling moving in the breast.
BUNKER HILL. Gardner speaks.
Convinced the purest motives were his aim, yet still, unquenchable they felt the flame of martial ardor inwardly to glow, To press the movement and out-dare the foe. At length the hoary-headed Gardner speaks, While a deep impulse flushes in his cheeks: " There dwells in Warren's voice a caution wise, " Yet still I feel to grapple for the prize. "Are not our troops desirous to proceed, "And do some exploit worthy future meed? "They murmur, restive in their present state" For active orders they impatient wait. "While high their pulses with excitement beat, "Shall we not cherish their ambitious heat? " Or let a frost upon their souls congeal, till nothing they of aspiration feel? "No, I would cautiously this night repair, construct a mound and erect our standard there. But should we suffer Gage to trench the height, Without an effort made to test our might, " Soon would a loss of confidence succeed, And wan despair upon the bosom feed. " I know our means are limited-but still "A risk is run, defying human skill.
22 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. "Often my rifle, with a single ball," Has caused a panther and a wolf to fall: "And every warrior must reserve his fire, Till sure is he, at least, shall one expire. " To sight the fatal bead, we them excel, "Hence, we with lead, the bayonet can repel. "My mind is fix'd, unalterably to move, "And there the unbending of our purpose prove. "Assured I feel, that we shall strike a blow, long on the page of history to show "When tyrants shall have met their overthrow." He ended. Putnam thus:" I move, at once, "That now the council shall their voice pronounce-- " Whether that we upon our arms shall stand, "Or do a feat to electrify the land." The vote is cast. Few in dissent were given, while all for rectitude appealed to heaven. When the decision to proceed was done, the whole united in the cause as one. ONWARD!, the motto every soul expressed, And for their bleeding country, bared their breast! All felt desirous to compose the van, to plant the flag, and consummate the plan.
23 With prompt decision, these their wish obtain and more rich the boon than golden treasures gain'd for Ward, obedient to the public will, Selected Putnam to command the hill; Prescott, whom none in enterprise excelled, The station next in due gradation held. Gridley receives thl important trust, to form The bulwarks, to resist the coming storm. To Gardner is assign'd, the post to stand Reserv'd-to strike, when pressure should demand; Trevett, his second officer-his son, Edwin, will him support in toils begunHe, not as yet the tented field has gain'd Edwin with his Martha is detain'd. With Putnam, Prescott, is the hoary Frye Detach'd - companion of their chivalry; With whom are Nutting, Walker, Brooks, and Bridge, The first, adventurous to approach the ridge. Scarce fifteen summers Willicer had seen, Still manhood's thought was stamp'd upon his mien, A widow's son-her only child was heShe sent him forth to die or live-his country free.
24 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
The sun soon set in loveliness. The dew wove a pellucid vail, which towards it drew His last exquisite rays of streaming gold, causing the choice colors to unfold Prismatic; earth appeared with heaven to vie, while warblers sung their evening minstrelsy. Descending slow, this gorgeous vail is spread, first o'er those hills that highest lift their head; Others, through modesty appear to stoop, While others seem retiring in a group, as if its melting texture was too rare, For them, of earthly origin to wear.
Presently the whole receding fades, wrapped in the folding of incumbent shades. Stars one by one with misty light show forth, Which through the darkness glimmers on the earth, screening the patriots from the prying gaze of those prepared with cannonry to blaze. So eager were the heroes to engage, time seem'd to move like slow decrepit age. Scarce the first star displays in heaven its lamp, when the battalions silently decamp. Rapid, yet cautiously they trail the heath, controlling even the motions of their breath.
25 A closer curtain veils the gems of night, as they, advancing, climb the towering height. Thus far accomplished, was the enterprize encouraging to keep the ambition on the rise; But now a pause.Perplexity ensues. A choice of hills produced from different views. Prescott is anxious farther to proceed than Bunker, and to fortify at Breed, as being nearer to assail the foe, for the offensive, burns to strike the blow. Putnam inclines at Bunker to abide, as there, assault could better be defied, Because, above the neighboring hills around, it rear'd its head in majesty profound. Gridley impatient: "See, the midnight star, " Throws from the front of heaven its beams afar " If that decision longer be delay'd, we shall in all our weakness be betray'd." "Just are thy words." Thus Putnam in reply. " We first at Prescott's hill will fortify, "And Bunker next, that, should we fail at Breed, "Here we in force may rally and succeed"
For this position lying to the west, " Is nearer Gardner in reserve at rest, and
26 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
hence more convenient, should the occasion call, " Refreshments to receive, or men, or ball." He scarce had said, when Gridley with his band of engineers began to inspect the land. Of Bastide he at Lewisburg, with skill, had learnt the art to circumscribe the hill and at Cape Breton to direct the shell, till at its object, it exploding fell. He saw at once, according to its site, the plan best suited to defend the height.
He soon the outline of a rampart laid, secure from danger of an enfilade. From this, with judgment he a trace drew forth, extending down the steep toward the north To join a wide morass, where in the strife should any venture, founders with his life.
Putnam and Prescott were the first to wield the spade and mattock, to intrench the field; the example animated, thrilled the soul, an emulation kindling through the whole. So fast their implements ascend and fall, The earth appears to open at their call: as when, that prudent ants with matchless skill, select a site upon a favorite hill,
to fashion forth a dwelling, to defend themselves and young, when wintry blasts ascend, they presently in different bands divide, that more effectually might be applied their mutual strength: these scientific trace the various chambers-those overturn, displace the particles of sand, (to them, each grain A weighty rock), 'neath which, they, reeling strain. Others scoop out the finer earth while some a pebble undermine. - To aid them come hands excavating near: it jars! They call to those around them to observe its fall headlong it plunges from its tiny height, while seem they all, as cheering with delight. They roll it onward to the future porch, to form a pillar to sustain the arch. From morn till noon, from noon till setting sun, thus unremittingly they labor on. They show the same alacrity at night, as when they fresh commenced at early light. A busy multitude, a thronging crowd, with no command apparently allow'd, yet all in harmony; ambitious each, the altar raised by public faith to reach!
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
So even thus the untiring patriots wrought, while scarce distinction in the ranks was taught.
A unity of sentiment-design, causes uprightness like the plummet's line - They feel that in their hands their all is placed - Hope, life, their country honored or disgraced. It seem'd their nerves, as arduous they pursued the work, with strength Herculean were renewed, From every brow, the reeking sweat, in streams, pours forth like unction that the soul redeems. In muffled silence they subdue their breath, as if commanded by the voice of death. They lose all passing circumstance of time, bent on achievements glorious and sublime. Their motions they control so calm, so still, that not an echo travels from the hill. Hard by, upon a lofty elm is heard; unconscious of their toil, the evening bird. The chirping cricket ceases not to sing, While flits the fire-fly on eccentric wing. The navy anchored in the stream so near, That even a falling pebble they might hear, dream not that the Columbians hold the key, that locks the pass in jealous secrecy.
29 The old men feel a new creation rare, which seems, at once, their sinews to repair. To manhood's stately prime the stripling rose. Conceptions that in peace had torpid froze, burst into life original and bold. The more hazardous the deed, more prompt the means unfold.
Col. William Prescott and Brooks, mistrustful that the foe might their designs by scouts or traitors know, With circumspection trace the shores around but hear they nothing, save the pleasing sound Of gentle ripples playing on the beach with polish'd pebbles just within their reach - perceiving all in safety, they return, to cause the labor of defence to burn. At length the glimpses of the morning show. Still all is wrapped in solitude below. Yet Prescott notwithstanding, must proceed once more to scout the lines, doubting the deed - But that the enemy had them descried, while they absorbed, their energies applied. Again with Brooks he winds along the shore. They hark to catch the dipping of an oar;
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
the whisper of a sentinel to hear, or in his haste, despatched a messenger.
All's well! - From ship to ship is pass'd around, which like rich music makes the pulse rebound. Prescott astonish'd now believes it true, that their position not a Briton knew. With eagerness he hurries to impart the tidings to inspire and brace the heart.
Putnam to Prescott: "While the orient lamp lingers, I'll course it backward to the camp and invoke the troops our banner to support, "when Gage to war's fierce struggle shall resort. "My steed, through long excessive toil grows weak, "hence I another for the strife must seek." Soon, soon may we expect to hear the sound "of cannonry reverberate around, "to fill thy soul with energy profound."
Prescott with deference waved to him his sword, For rein'd the chief as he pronounced the word. Now when from Lexington commotion spread From hill to hill like an eruption dread, Flush'd with a manly bloom, young Gardner rose. To urge his sire from turmoil to repose.
31 While with his arms would he their wrongs redress-- Edwin (so bare the means) was weaponless. The path to join the army led directly past the dwelling, where his souls elect abides, blushing with love, as when soft dew weeps on a rose, just opening into view. Though the blest passion nestles in her heart, yet for her country tears of anguish start. Hard by her grandsire fell, through toil outdone, when Percy on return past Lexington An ancient war-tube 'gainst an elm reclined, And sword, a captured royalist resign'd. Wistful she gazes at the cottage style His own Martha! mark'd a tear, a smile, mingle and chase each other as in play, Like April sporting in the beams of May. She spies her lover winding round the hill. His step elastic-on his brow-his will'Tis love united with a martial air, exhibiting the stamp of honor there. He one deep parting, lingering look must speak, and then the station of his father seek. His blue eye glistens with the light of fame, yet mingled. chasten'd with the tender flame:
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
At times, a stern indignity is seen. At other times a languor overspreads his mien. He marks her lovely as the lily, when It bows its head, new-washed with heaven's sweet rain. She stoops her forehead, as he hastens near, To wipe unseen love's consecrated tear in vain-another quick supplies its place, each leaving as it falls a silver trace. He clasps her to his heart-in rapture lost they feel translated, from all crudeness dross'd. He breaks with gentle violence away, While dashing from his eye the gathering spray. "I crave one moment, Edwin, to bestow my blessing ..parting blessing. Well, you know, "I not thy noble purpose would appal, "Even should'st thou for thy country (heaven forbid it!) fall. "Our spirits soon would mingle where the blessed "Bask in beatitude with none to harm-molest." But without weapons how canst thou sustain "thy heart's proud bearing on the dubious plain." Dost thou unarm'd expect to curb the foe? " Alas! thy blood will unavailing flow, "And I shall never cease to heave the sighs of woe."
"Incensed, my father at the first alarms " Pursued the aggressors with our only arms: "a long-usedrifle. Him persuade must I, "To yield it me, and I his place supply. "Him, age requires the buckler to resign, "And I must make his dauntless courage mine: "Or should he fixed in resolution be "to lead his troops against the enemy, I'll grapple with the foe, of weapons, him despoil-the land from thraldom to redeem." "My lover's father never will comply---she with the cause will either live or die. "But, Edwin, thee can I provide with one, which hath avenged the blood of Lexington; "As back from Concord haughty Percy came, "My hoary grandsire, though decrepit, lame, "Limpt on his crutches to yon sheltering wall, "And while my mother aided him with ball, "He blazed with centeredd aim the winged lead" At every flash he bow'd a royal head. 'Twas wonderful how firm his hand became" A youthful vigor seem'd to brace his frame.
34 THE BATTLE OF
"But ah, the exertion done,- he could no more" The blood fast curdled round his bosom's core. "He, as I rested on my lap his head, "Clasping my hand, to me, thus faltering said: "I know, Martha, thy soft heart is placed "On one, upon whose brow a mind is traced. Who never will endure to live a slave, "But rather first, would seek an honored grave: "Tell him that I this legacy bequeath, "That he with chaplets may his temples wreath - "The best, the richest boon that I can give, "And he with grateful deference receive. "He sunk-recovered-blest me as his child, "Then closed his eyes in rest, like summer evening mild. "It makes me weep to think his dying scene" But yet how great, how glorious, how serene! "My angel fair one! Thy bright soul to me "Will shine and light the path to chivalry. "More dear thy grandsire's legacy I hold. "Than mines of diamonds set in crowns of gold.
35 "In crowns of gold!-the blighting, hateful name "Enters my heart, and heats it to a flame"A crown it is that millions now deplore "It makes our country bleed at every pore. "But also, I perceive,thy hand sustains "A sword 17 " Ah, yes." She artless thus explains "Accept this likewise-it perhaps may be thine only guardian in extremity" My father's spoil-a Briton wore the blade, still he, surrendering, was a captive made. "Let me begirt thee as a knight in state, "That thou may'st think of me, and emulate " My parent, honor'd with a martyr's grave" Tis bliss supreme to die than wear the yoke - a slave." While that she belts the sword upon his thigh, Edwin, with looks description to defy, shows a rapt impulse to his soul is given, chaste as the unsullied purity of heaven. He partly draws the steel--" I cannot speak*' Yet bursts my heart if I in silence keep! Martha! think of thee? -in war, thy name "Will nerve my arm, electrify my frame.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
"Lo, should I fall-in death I'll think of thee" I visible shall then thy spirit see, "And fall to sleep serene as slumbering infancy." A pause, a gazing holy pause ensues. Breathless-unutterable:-translated views overwhelm the soul, while tears the eyes suffuse. "Hark! list! the bugle sounds from hill to hill! "How burn my passions!- how my pulses thrill! "Thy prayers will speed to heaven on angel wings"
Listen!-Farewell! war's pealing tocsin rings I "throned on my heart shalt thou abiding dwell, "Alike on earth-in heaven! Farewell! Farewell!" He let a tear upon her bosom fall, and hasten'd to obey his country's call. Anxious she kept her eye upon him bent, in which hope, grief, joy, gratitude, were blent. She look'd to heaven - the look devout, might bring A seraph down, upon a sightless wing to attend the invocation of her soul, to make the bruisings of her country whole - To shield her lover from impending harms, And blest return him to her longing arms.
Edwin soon joins his father in the field. Finding him fixed more hard than flint to yield, He, by his orders, posts upon the rear, While Trevett in the centre plants his spear, Reserved to move when pressure should appear. 4
BUNKER HILL CANTO
ARGUMENT. Boston common converted into a British encampment - Gage in a markee spread beneath the Boston elm, explains the situation of the country to Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne, who, on the day previous, had arrived from England, and just landed-The shipping and batteries open upon the American lines.
Death of Willicer. Putnam return. Warren arrives. The British under Howe cross the Charles river. The surrounding eminences crowded with anxious spectators. Hancock and Adams. The scene is laid on Boston common, Copps Hill, and in Charlestown. The time is about ten hours-from daylight till noon-June 17th.
Now from her bed of waves the morn ascends, while many a tiny cloud around her bends, like waiting deities with radiant plumes, which she in turn with golden smile illumes. The shadows vanish like a fairy dream, when transport wakens mid some glorious theme. Lo, blithesome spring in all her robes is seen, to dance with summer on the verdant green,
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
Who in the loveliest garniture appears, tranced with the living music of the spheres. But Boston feels not the inspiring glow. Her heart is sick - she heaves the sighs of woe. A withering
enemy like a serpent twines around her bowers, and violates her shrines. Her mall, an emerald gem, where art had traced the lines of nature with exquisite taste. When once beheld and pictured in the mind, deep on the memory, is wrapped, enshrined. Not Eden's garden scarce could be more fair at morn, noon, or sunset loveliness; - where young Innocence of late, in flowers array'd, In wild free gambols round its borders played. Where lovers oft had interchanged those sighs, which from the heart in holy incense rise. This happy spot, but recently so blest, is now by feet of hostile legions pressed. Mid the wide field, a solitary elm spreads its vast shade when sultry heats o'erwhehn the drooping earth-a tree revered-a fane, where sylvan deities in moonlight reign beneath this sacred elm, in gorgeous state, A tent is spread, where royal chiefs debate:
Gage, Willard, Clinton, Burgoyne, and Howe, imperious scorn depictured on their brow; those mention'd last, the day preceding, came from Albion's Isle to scathe the land with flame. Grant, Abercrombie, Rawdon, Percy, known as stately pillars to support the throne. Gage by a restlessness not well disguised, showed that he danger inwardly surmised; And yet a haughtiness his features had, As if that he would,like a falcon mad, pounce on his victim, who should dare suggest. That doubts or shadows floated o'er his breast: "Most noble Clinton, Burgoyne, and Howe, "It yields us pleasure to salute you now, "Not that we cherish apprehensions here - "But that you've safe commenced your high career" Escaped the dangers of the treacherous main, "To add new glories to Britannia's reign; "For yet perhaps some trophies may be won, "except at the announcing of your names they run, " Their cause in ruins and their hopes undone. "At Concord, Lexington, we made them feel " The deadly keenness of the British steel.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
And while the terror of our arms was rife, "To all I tender'd pardon for their life".All, save two rebels, whose inveterate hate "Would gladly sap the royal dome of state" Hancock and Adams -blasphemous have they "Dared against His august Highness to inveigh" To speak, to trifle lightly with his name, "As if from common elements he came! "So bold their treason, they proclaim aloud "To those that compose the vulgar crowd, "To monarchs longer not to bend the knee" Fearless they publish that "mankind are free! "Should wretches such as these pollute the earth, "To bring a train of hydra passions forth? "No: hunted should they be as wolves of prey, "Till that extinct the race was lopp'd away. "And Hawley, Otis, never I forgive" Twould murder kings to suffer them to live. "Behold the poisonous fruits these traitors bear! "This city seems a tigress in her lair. Ready to spring and seize upon our throat, "Whilst howling dire rebellion's hellish note. "But wrench'd have I the talons from her claws, "And broke the teeth from out her foaming jaws.
"By proclamation widely I promulged. "That all with liberty should be indulged "To leave the city with their wives, their all, if first would they, obedient to our cail, "From secret coverts, bring their weapons forth, "And in our presence, pile them on the earth. " They presently complied. And now forsooth, 'They rail-complain I've sacrificed the truth, 'Because I bar them yet with caution's key, "And will not open them the city free. "Adams has dared rebellious to upbraid "That I have honor's sanctity betray'd "The period when-I carefully suppress'd "In that must we consult our interest. "Retain'd we here no shield for our defence, "Would not yon circling hills with violence "Rain globes of fire?" But now their dearest all, "With us must be protected-stand or fall. "Tis my intention on this coming night, "To cross the Charles and occupy the height "That overlooks the plains, or soon may we "Be hemm'd on all sides in extremity. "Perhaps we err in making this delay But we by this their frenzy will allay,
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
"Till on the summit we our flag display. "None who the treasure of their life regard, "Would dare our onward movement to retard. "We'd sweep them hence, as foam upon the sea Is swept, when tempests hold their revelry. "All things have I in readiness arranged " to advance, when day shall be to darkness changed. "But who approaches on yon flying steed? " He bears some message of important deed"
'Tis Pigot!- Ay, the traitors are o'erthrown" Adams,Hancock!- In chains shall they be shown, "Awe to impress--then, for their crimes, atone "On yonder branch of this, their favorite tree" But lo, he comes!" We're all anxiety "Say, where did you seize the rebels? -speak! Methinks there's color wanting in your cheek. " And did they show resistance?- Who opposed? "At once be all particulars disclosed." Pigot stood lost-not knowing what to say. The salutation took his thoughts away. At length he gain'd the compass of his mind, The needle pointing to the theme design'd:
"I come not here to speak of traitors now. "Except their frowning works on Bunker's brow" On Bunker's brow!"- each startling voice, as one, pronounced abrupt, alarm'd - in unison. "As slow the morn dispeled the lingering night, and their growing works surprised our dubious sight. At first we thought a mist was on the hill, "For such it seem'd, muffled in silence still. " So circumspect were they, we heard no sound, " Though walk'd our sentries on the beach around. "But doubt and fiction soon to truth gave way, and all was bustle to begin the fray. I mounted-put my charger to his pride, "And soon I found me at your lordship's side." He ceased. A pause-solemnity ensued, As when the mind is suddenly subdued. The unexpected tidings check'd the heart, And caused the deep warm color to depart. They strove by outward signs to hide the pain but hard, how hard is nature to restrain! Strive as we may, she soon will break the screen
In spite of art our passions will be seen.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. At length th' emotion pass'd from off the check, And Howe with consequence began to speak:
"These tidings but our purposes fulfil "To sally forth and occupy the hill. "Tis true, not here can we expect to build our fame with trophies won upon the field." To curb a rebel host, is not as when "Proud nations battle and we meet with men; "But still our duty prompts, when slaves dare grieve "And murmur at the tasks their masters give, "A merited chastisement to bestow, SAnd bend them humble in obedience low. " This purpose to effect, with your consent, 'I, with our veterans, on some deed intent, " Will overcome the summit and scour the plain, "Till not a rebel shall in arms remain. "Twill yield the troops a grateful interlude "From sameness here, where melancholies brood " And pour a green contagion in the blood." "I hail thy prompt decision, gallant Howe." Gage with a flush'd excitement on his brow. " My noble lord of Percy will combine "His force with yours, and Leslie, Pitcarn, join.
BUNKER HILL 49
Pigot, our batteries, opposite, explode" For I intend the element to load with conflagration. Charlestown shall appear "In flames to climb the highest atmosphere, "Which to the day will add a splendid scene. "And prove the terror of our discipline! "From this, no village shall escape the brand, For desolation shall involve the land. "A blighting pestilence to them we'll be, "Till in the dust shall they imprint their knee; "And with a meekness that partakes of fear, "Confess their treason with repenting tear" And kiss the Crown with reverential awe" Yea, crave the honor to receive its law. " Never allegiance shall they dare forget" Hark!---tis the Glasgow and the Sommerset, "Opening their bellowing engines. Rise-away-! "And let the troops in richest robes array, As on review to make a grand display." Forth at the summons, eager they repair - arrange their cohorts on the height to bear. Soon is the clangor of the trumpet heard, By which the passions are tumultuous stirred. 5
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
The drum's mad music ruffles up the soul, And makes them reckless of the fatal goal, That Death has placed within a single turn, When he their mortal ashes will inurn. Now when from ocean waked the morning beam, The shipping gazed-believing it a dream. It seemed a trance their faculties possess'd They could not fix the truth within their breast, That rebels such high daring could conceive, And with such art their purposes achieve: But from their minds all doubt was vanish'd brief, the impressive fact was grappled with belief. The circling bulwarks every moment grew, and longer shadows from the summit threw. Alarm produced a momentary pause But soon the cannon oped their flaming jaws, And hurl'd in wreaths of fire the smiting ball, to cause the rising parapet to fall. Expecting soon to see the patriots break, and in despair, their infant works forsake: But what could equal their chagrin-surprise, When they beheld the Eagle mount the skies!
Far on the south the British cannon peaked Against the wing where Thomas sway'd the field. A heavy battery open'd on the west To strike the centre standard from its rest, That Ward might be diverted from the height, fearing himself a sally on his right - And hence the triumph met a partial blight. The exploding vessels and the mounds on flame, Convulsive shook the elemental frame.
When Prescott heard the opening thunders break, He in the confidence of valor spake: " Hark! they at length our labors have descried" At all our works they range across the tide. "The morn has drawn the veil of secrecy" And now we'll prove us worthy to be free!
"High in the midst of heaven the standard raise, "And let the stars emit the lightning blaze. "Behold, collecting on the hills afar, " Our hearts' rich treasures to observe the war! "Methinks in holy prayer I see them bend, "That we this hill may gloriously defend. "Firm will we hold it with an iron grasp, "Till death our hand shall from the sword unclasp."
First Blood Shed.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. Ere he had finish'd, was the flag on high, floating redundant, Britons to defy. The youthful Willicer, too venturesome, Leaps from the intrenchment: Behold, a bomb exploding, drops him like a new-mown flower, Its beauty fading in the sultry hour. His blood the first that sanctified the hill, To keep it green till nature's funeral pile.
The daring Prescott, instant that Willicer fell, mounted the parapet, pale fear to quell, Ere that its frost could curdle. He, his sword, waves and soon his stirring eloquence is heard:
" 0, envious death! to be the first to bear "The news to heaven - what we have pledged to dare! "Yea, shall our blood yield fatness to the soil, "Or from our presence tyrants must recoil. "The only apprehension that I feel, sirs, that they never will assail with steel, "But to their cannonry and mortars trust, "Us to harass and sweep our works to dust. "Ah, no!- my fears have vanish'd into heaven - My drooping thoughts to ecstacy are given! "Behold, emerging from the city there, "Their gaudy streamers dancing on the air!
BUNKER HILL. Putnam, Warren and Stark!
Fixed they stood to pay the price of Liberty - Their blood!
"They soon in ponderous columns will arrive, "Flush'd with vain hopes - our feebleness to drive; "But lo, our feebleness will be to them, "As fire that belts creation's diadem. More deep, more dense they close in their ascent, "More large will they partake death's sacrament. "Putnam remounted on a charger comes" Warren and Stark! - their presence mounts - it plumes, "Transports the soul like salutations blest, "When rapt it enters in elysian rest." His words produced emotions that impelld Upward the thoughts as if on heaven they held. They cast the earth behind them - fixed they stood to pay the price of liberty-their blood.
The meantime Putnam, as new day was seen, On a fresh charger, bounded o'er the green To where Stark had his position chose, Near where the Mystic with the ocean flows. He waited not for Putnam to commence: "I crave the boon to aid in the defence. "I seem as rais'd on pinions to ascend, " And with my troops by labor to defend !
Page 54 Gridley.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
"The summit, till with weapons we contend." Putnam rejoins: " Thy language burns-it thrills" Thy heart is like the granite of the hills. "Now is the time to let thy soul have play, " For I forebode eternal lives this day. "Thy zeal will kindle through the ranks. Repair, And give to Gridley your assistance there. "
North of the morass, has he begun, (For now are we to all expedients run) "A shelter of mown grass, which when compress'd, "Will stay the bullet's force - a kind of nest "Where many a one will bedded find its rest.
KNOWLTON.Knowlton will here his skill and prowess bend, "For we on Hampshire's valor can depend. "Him will you join when battle shall be heard, "To prove the unyielding temper of your sword." Your left will rest upon the river bank, "Your right wing, from assault, guard Prescott's flank. "Hearken!- the Britons have the works descried" Their heavy guns explode upon the tide! Mystic River.
Stark, Knowlton, Reed, Cass, Dearborn, Storrs, Willis, Spencer, Gilman, McClary.
Nutting, Warner & Perkins
"The morning opens with a glorious sign" Companions! hasten to secure the line" There prove your spirits are indeed divine!" Stark, with his soul in music, leads the way for Knowlton, Reed, Cass, Dearborn to display; Storrs, Willis, Spencer, valiant Pearce, and Hal Gilman, McClary, large of limb and tall Whose voice resembles ocean in its rage, When arm to arm fierce combatants engage. Nutting and Warner, right of the redoubt, Take post, to see the threatening contest out. A wooden fencement is their only shield, Like that which Knowlton on the left wing held the gallant Perkins his position chose, Where open bosom'd he could meet his foes. Between the left of Prescott and the right Of Knowlton, waved his banner in the light.
Prescott to Putnam as he clears the steep: " Thy swift return makes new pulsations leap. " Revered art thou, the chosen of the field" This day is thine to be in history sealed. "How glows my breast, to see our minds as one, " Centred as rays collected from the sun."
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. Putnam.
"The troops delight to hear thy voice of old" It seems new powers-resources to unfold" Confirms the brave and makes the timid bold." Putnam grasps his hand: "Yes, I feel that we " Are like two branches from one parent tree; " Soon will we show the blossoms of our fruit, " Unless destruction's ploughshare breaks the root." This said he to the ranks in cheerful mode, directed his discourse, which pleasing flow'd: " Comrades! this labor will throw off disease, "For toil the blood of peccant humors frees. "Ah, yes, 'twill sweat base royalty away, "And make the soul its purity display; "What though their heavy peals our ears invade, "Tis but the music of a serenade. "It proves they think us worthy of the boon" We presently will answer them the tune; " For though at times they think us worse than rude, " We'll entertain them with an interlude." The veteran thus in a facetious style, raised on the cheek a confidential smile, outrooting all misgiving from the breast, And planting there a glowing interest.
Page 57 Warren. My sword, my wealth - my bloody all!
Thus did the patriots, heedless of the blast, which at the works the ships and batteries cast, pursue their labors to intrench the hill - Cool unto death their pledges to fulfil. Now when at Harvard was the council done, a fever through the veins of Warren run, He sought repose to calm, the assuage, the heat, For strong the arteries of his temples beat. Stretch'd listless on his couch, he strives in vain sleep to allure; the excitement of the brain frightens sleep away; essaying oft to close his eyes, while tossing to and fro his limbs he throws. "Hark! what was that? -Again the thunders peal! "Health is restored!-no more the pain I feel! "I hear the summons of my country call" My sword is hers - my wealth - my blood-my all!"
Scarce this effusion from his soul came forth, when proud he rose as if he spurn'd the earth. His look was heavenward - his port sublime, as if his hand retain'd the link of time that welded with eternity. Soon the rein, His charger feels-he courses o'er the plain.
58 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
Putnam salutes him, climbing the ascent, and utters feelingly this sentiment:
"I joy to greet thee this auspicious morn "Hailed will it be by millions yet unborn!
"Still would I urge thee to remain behind, "For wisdom dwells within thy lofty mind. "Adams will need thy counsel to advise "Means to sustain the glorious enterprise" But yet the sentiment, thy looks declare, "Speaks that thy spirit will the perils dare." To whom thus Warren: "Thou my soul hath scann'd Firm in resolve my purpose have I planned. "I crave no other boon than here to rest, "If that my country in her cause be blest. What! could I linger when the notes of war, "Made the foundations of my dwelling jar?
"While others bled to guard my children-wife, "Could I hold recreant back-not pledge my life? "Never!
Where'er those stars effulgent wave, "Freedom is mine, or that denied - a grave! "I find it vain to urge you to recede, "Hence I'll explain the measures we've decreed:
BUNKER HILL. Col. William Prescott to Warren.
"Where Prescott now is seen his sword to wield, "We shall reluctantly be forced to yield. On Bunker's Height, a second stand we'll make, "And never till the last, the hill forsake; But first with blood impression must be made, 'That never from their memory will fade. "We there must plant ourselves for death or life, "Till they shall fear to think upon the strife." Our troops will also confidence acquire, To press determined through the walks of fire." Warren approved the arrangement of the chief, While to the summit leap'd their chargers brief. Him, Prescott thus saluted:
"Warren! hail! "Thy presence here will cause us to prevail" To you I yield the honor of command" Proud I'll sustain you with my own right hand." " Never forsooth!" Thus Warren in return.... "From thee, I wish the soldier's art to learn. "Thy head is hoary in the field of fame." To battle by thy side will glorify my name.' Now when the sun was seated on his throne, And with effulgence his full splendor shone -
60 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. The British Troops.
>From Boston in array the foe advanced, while on the breeze their flickering standards danced.They in appearance looked a cloud of gold, When crimson fringes lave each misty fold. The music filed the element profound, And made the heart triumphantly to bound. Howe led the van with royal star array - Leslie and Pitcarn, next in martial grade; Richardson, Abercrombie, Williams, Clark, Percy and Rawdon with a lordly mark; Bruce, Jordon, Spendlove, Mitchell, Butler, Small, With whom had Putnam wing'd the deadly ball, When they contended 'gainst the flag of Gaul. Percy the columns on the rear sustained;
soon they the beach of shining pebbles gain'd. The decorated barges seem'd to feel A conscious pride to bear the burnish'd steel; slow as the music beat the measured key, they in their motion kept the harmony. Charles, from the depths of his translucent wave, Back on the sight their gilded trappings gave. They soon the narrow channel glided o'er, and stood in all their strength upon the shore.
Page 61 Gage.
Gage in the mean time gloried in his pride, To see the army buoyant on the tide. He held the battery ready to explode, and Charlestown conflagrate in royal mode, When Howe majestic to the attack should move, and his train'd discipline victorious prove - He at the prospect feels an inward glow, which gives his utterance an effusive flow: "How it must pall their nerves on yonder height - To mark the dazzling splendor of the sight! "How terrible the helmets, bayonets, gleam, "Awe to impress and rule the land supreme! "See how the Glasgow rakes the defile over, "Preventing all accession to their power; " And likewise them, debarring from retreat, "When Howe shall them like scatter'd herds defeat "Pigot, the match, stand instant to apply, "To cause the shells to leap along the sky. "This day a finish of the war will be, "For every rebel will make bare his knee, "And kings will hail it as their jubilee (Charlestown Neck.)
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
Hush'd the obstreperous rant of Freedom's tongue, "And o'er her grave a royal peal be rung. "Gaze, gaze ye hills - ye steeples, gaze-behold: The scene the first, the last that ever will unfold. "Behold the terrors of a throne incensed, "And let its fear be deeply evidenced." He ceased. A bomb disploded from the steep, which show'd him ready on the town to leap! With raining fire to scath it from the earth, To give his myrmidons demoniac mirth. Soon as the ships began the battering war, and morning trembled with thd eruptive jar, the populous city crowded to the scene. Yea, every hamlet, cottage on the green, Pour'd out its tenants-infants, mothers, all - To learn what judgment would the land befall. Old gray-hair'd men, Elijahs of their race, came forth, their country and her arms to bless. Deep passions moved the multitude. Some would in silence o'er their sufferings brood; Mothers would inward to their bosoms crowd their babes, and utter lamentations loud.
BUNKER HILL. Hancock & Adams.
Others would hope express, subdued with fear, they now would smile, and now let fall a tear. Others in dumb despair show'd all was lost, while o'er their features spread a deadly frost.
Hancock and Adams, consecrated men, stand near the Mystic.- Never history's pen hath characters portray'd more bright than these on whom the affections in a transport seize. They seem by their sublime and pondering look, reading the page in inspiration's book, That on this day, would Truth, a new-orb'd star, Rise and diverge its hallow'd rays afar.
The Phoenix, Liberty!
LIBERTY OR DEATH!
"My countryman, my brother!" Adams thus. "Say, is not this a glorious day for us? "A day to light with freedom's torch the pyre "Of tyranny, from whence shall forth aspire "The phoenix liberty on wings of flame, "Casting a brilliance o'er creation's frame" The continent will feel the electric shock, "Causing the soul its treasures to unlock: "York, the first link will seize the sparkle, then "Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Penn. "Virginia fill'd with inspiration's breath, " Will raise the cry of Liberty or Death!
Page 64 WASHINGTON !
64 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. She to the nation will bequeath her son "To lead our arms to conquest-WASHINGTON! "The Carolines and Georgia-the extreme, " Will catch from yonder height the boreal gleam, "And rise, and grasp the spear, their country to redeem!" He ceased.
And Hancock, while he eager pressed his glowing hand, him thus in turn address'd: " Thy language burns with a celestial zeal - Deep in my breast the impressive truths I feel: " But could they now as history be read " Without a shadow, doubt, foreboding dread:
"I then would say to heaven: No more I crave! " Now will my sleep be pleasant in the grave. "Could but our blood procure the valued prize, "How freely would we make the sacrifice! "Yea, pinion'd would we yield ourselves to Gage, And let his hellish bosom glut its rage! "Yon city holds my perishable all, "I scarce regard what doom may it befall. Let them my treasures, with polluted hand, "Seize and apply the conflagrating brand" I'd deem it light as gossamer to me, so that victorious were my country free."
The old men gather'd round them while they spoke, And gazed upon them with devotion's look. Their eyes they fix'd with gratitude to heaven, That two such Catos to the land were given.
Abijah Willard, a mandamus councilor whose wife was sister to Col. William Prescott
(source: Prescott Memorial - p.59)
BUNKER HILL. ARGUMENT.
Gage, from Abijah Willard, , learns the characters of several American chiefs. The conflagration of Charlestown-Pomeroy arrives from Northampton - The English advance to the attack-Some few soldiers prematurely discharging their pieces, calls forth a reprimand from Prescott. Warren addresses the troops-The signal being given by Putnam, the Columbians pour forth a deadly volley - The Britons fall back in great disorder-Howe, recovering from a fit of despair, soon rallies his forces for a second attempt. A part of the reinforcements refuse to cross Charlestown-Neck, in consequence of its being raked by the shipping of the enemy--Putnam is indignant at their conduct. The British make another more desperate effort, but are again compelled to retire. The scene is laid at Copps Hill, and round the shores, and on the heights of Charlestown. The time is about two hours.
In the mean time Gage conversed with Willard near, Who ever had his confidence and ear native of the soil, therefore could he unlock to Gage the cell of secrecy. Willard is one, whose conscience avarice sears, Bringing disgrace upon declining years
70 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. ABIJAH WILLARD.
He British rule and British faith reveres. A priest-craft book the only page he read, Which petrified his heart-deranged his head. He thinks it ruin on the land would bring, even with remonstrance to address a king; but to rebel against his right divine, would mar, annul dread Deity's design. Too narrow is his soul to imbibe those views that elevate mankind and light infuse. His mind is like a stagnant pool where breed prejudices, fostering of a grovelling creed. The dark, rough, foundering path his fathers trod, hefollows, doubting not it leads to God - Hence with religious bitterness and zeal, he violates, breaks open every seal, which bars a hidden treasure from the foe, that he more certain may direct his blow. Yea, should the life of his own son be lost, he more obstreperous of his king would boast. Gage jealous with his telescope in hand, saw Prescott flourishing his glittering brand, while balls flew round him, hurling up the sand. Now known to Willard was each patriot chief, And Gage thus question'd him in manner brief;
Page 71 Gage questions Abijah Willard about Col. Prescott.
"Art thou acquainted with that character "Wielding his blade as if he'd singly dare "To meet my columns in their strength array'd, "As though his heart of firmest steel were made."But think you not when press our bayonets near, "That he will blanch and show a traitor's fear?"
PRESCOTT IS HIS NAME.
"Prescott, is his name. As for himself, I feel, "That never he will in submission kneel: "As for his clan, unmarshalled and unskilled, "They may perhaps without resistance yield; "But he with Winslow in his youth stood high, "And still there's flashing lightning in his eye." "
Pray, who is that surveying of the hill? Distant he seems an engineer of skill. " But who enrich'd with science would descend to such a herd, his services to lend?" Willard rejoins: "Tis Gridley whom you see "His soul till now was from pollution free. From Bastide, he the art of war acquired, beloved for knowledge his ambition fired. At Lewisburg, at Breton, Abram's plain, where Wolfe embraced in victory's arms was slain,
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
"He bent the compass and drew forth the lines, "And aided to achieve those great designs." "What deep disgrace to turn a rebel now, "While float his thin locks hoary on his brow. "I wish his person blotted from my sight" Ingrate! To rob a monarch of his right" Most brilliant diamond in his crown to blight! "Another aged reprobate I mark, "Kindling a hot rebellion from a spark! He near the centre of the mound appears" A book of prayers would more become his years, than the huge weapon that his hand sustains, " As if he'd smite the adamantine chains "That bind this continent to England's Isle" How vain to think they can its links defile!" Gage. Thus Willard in his turn replies: " A veteran he your lordship now descries. " Have you not heard when victory flash'd his eye, "Winslow proclaim the gallantry of Frye?" " Hold, Willard, hold! - repeat no more to me. I now in them the effects of dotage see.
Page 73 WARREN.
A second childishness pervades their brain " To think that they will e'er their freedom gain" Freedom!-what freedom can the world afford, "Equal to that which flows from England's lords! 'Tis real freedom at the throne to bow, "And hail as truth whatever kings avow. "But who is that approaching on the rear? "Tis Warren-else my vision is not clear; " A demagogue, whose tongue delights to rail,." But soon in lasting silence shall it fail. "Putnam!-I scarce my feelings can describe "Him have I strove to purchase with a bribe. "He spurn'ed my temptings;-vengeance shall he feel" The bribe I offer now is deadly steel." As this he utter'd, hard he smote his brow, just at the instant that the barge of Howe struck on the beach, which called his mind away, farther the different leaders to survey. He kindles all his leaping fires at once, which to the town a fearful doom announce. A widow's home was first to catch the flame, And she, alas, a lifeless corpse became.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
of the shriekings of distress ascend the skies! Now here now there the bickering flashes rise. On private dwellings-on the public hall - On poverty's low shed, the ruin falls, The fierce combustion spreading far and wide - Thick rolls of smoke upon the whirlwinds ride. Red flames, like serpent tongues, are seen to flash Amid the folds, while falling buildings crash. Swift round the steeples fiery ringlets curl, and shoot above them with a maddening whirl. Catching from this to that, the blaze combines, Till all in one vast conflagration joins. A sea of flame beneath, from which ascend columns of fire that with the heavens contend.
The patriots still pursued their toils intense, regardless of the battering violence, exploding from the vessels in the stream. Their only thought their country to redeem! While through their veins a thrilling impulse run, they thought of those who fought at Marathon! They thought of those who in the defile stood, And wrote their every name in Persian blood. They thought to die more glorious than to live, And from a tyrant, clemency receive.
The voice of Prescott ever cheer'd the brave: "This height have I selected for a grave!" Could but my bones find rest beneath the mound, My last, last slumbers would be sweet--profound." This said-a mattock from a youth he took, who show'd exhaustion by his languid look - A peasant-lad was he-yet was his mind so firm, that he reluctantly resigned Remonstrance was in vain-the undaunted chief, While laboring, thus accosted him in brief: "Young comrade, rest thou on yon sloping bank, "And mark the Britons as they close their rank. "Your limbs require some respite for repose, "To be prepared in deadly shock to close. "And does your eye grow brighter at the thought- " A flushing ardor in your cheek is wrought. "Thou I perceive hast dug an ample grave, "And I intend the same my bones to have. "Life is a bubble dancing on a stream-"The valiant apprehend no after dream, " If that the world from bondage they redeem." The example of the chief awaked new flame in every bosom and renewed the frame.
Stark, Pearce, Bridge, McClary, Gridley, Brooks, Frye & Knowlton.
76 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
Pearce, Bridge, McClary, Gridley, Brooks, and Frye, Showed that their hearts were diamond jewelry, On which, no steel of tyrants could engrave the dastard characters that read-a slave.
Stark still continued laboring at the soil, but now he takes to more ennobling toil. To Knowlton at the river he repairs, bold to attest what man avenging dares, when that he wills to break oppression's chain, And his high destiny of soul attain.
The mean time Putnam with an eye that shone, As with a beam from vivid lightning thrown, Traced every thought and movement of the foe, planning to crush the country at a blow. Calm he observed the regal host embark, to quench, extinguish the redeeming spark. View'd them in line re-form upon the shore, And heard unmoved the heavy mortars roar; Saw Gage from Boston hurl his trains of fire, To cause the town in ashes to expire! Heard the big thunders from the navy peal, Yet did his features not a change reveal. The eruptive scene deliberate he survey'd, and passion none save life or death betray'd:
As some huge promontory stands unmoved amid the sea, to earth's fixed centre grooved, reckless of blackening tempests, lightning, hail, combined to crush-audacious to prevail. Or the vast ocean heaving from its base, Striving to move the basement from its place. Still it remains without a fracturing jar, though tumult rages on its thundering car:
Pomeroy - "My soul is here!"
So Putnam stands deep centred on his mind, firm to maintain the purpose he'd design'd, though fierce contention gather'd at his feet, and round him blazed the conflagrating sheet. Now beat the drums, the fife inspired with breath, sings, rallying the Britons to the work of death. Howe on the right to force the line of Stark, Assumes command, while Pigot, small of mark, takes post upon the left to leap the mound, And bend the spear of freedom in the ground. While thus the royals ranged themselves severe, the patriots still toil on!" My soul is here!" Pomeroy exclaims, advancing from the rear,
78 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
This glorious scene I've painted to behold" A scene so grand, not prophets have foretold!"
"Pomeroy! all bail! thy hoary locks we greet- "Thy presence will the myrmidons defeat! This salutation to the sage was given, as if they stood upon the mount of heaven. He from Connecticut's far stream had flown, since from the trumpet the late blast was blown. He next to Warren stands to urge the fray, till through his veins the last warm drop should play. Now when from Boston, Gage discharged the shell, which on devoted Charlestown bursting fell, Howe bade his deepening column to move forth, slow like a cloud that overshades the earth, conveying on the wings the thunder's car, soon on the reeling elements to jar. Howe by the ardor of his pride impell'd, without his aids, advances on the field. He, daring in the reach of rifle's aim, stands - as if shielded by a mighty name,
Page 79 Putnam - Prescott.
With calmness he the opposing works surveys. He feels his brows already crowned with bays - With dew of royal bounty sprinkled o'er, that at a blow he'd crush'd rebellious power. He waits the heavy squadron on his rear. Soon they approach in battling distance near. Instant at signal given, the cube displays, While o'er their heads a canopy they raise of war's combustion, moving in array, As if to pleasure on a holiday. When Putnam saw the enemy condensed, with scorn in every movement-pride incensed, he bade his warriors to remit their toil, to be prepared to vindicate the soil. Scarce they their keen impatience can restrain to unbend the lock and draw the sanguine stain. Some youths involuntary touch'd the spring.
And Prescott's passions rose upon the wing: "What madness! sacrilege! To heaven I swear,Let him who next shall violate-beware! "He as defilement by this sword shall fall, "And as he dies shall hear the curse of all" !
Page 80 To prove that we the people have the power!
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
The assailants halted, hoping to exhaust the means of the Columbians to their cost, but stand they silent in reserved defence - Putnam solicits Warren's eloquence: "At length hath come the soul-attesting hour, "To prove that WE, the PEOPLE, have the power! "Yea, on this hill, a beacon-light we'll raise, "That unextinguish'd through the world shall blaze! " We here on Freedom's sacred altar stand " To offer incense to preserve the land. "We'll pour our blood in rich oblation forth, "That Liberty may hail this day her birth. My soul perceives an inspiration round" Methinks I stand on consecrated ground! "Each look seems touched with something from on high, As if that hovering seraphim were nigh! "Mark! the enslavers on our bulwarks bear" Kneel to the earth as if devout in prayer. Heed not their efforts distant on the plain, "Though balls whiz o'er us thick as frozen rain. "Small the combustion we possess in store, Hence steep your every lead in hostile gore.
Page 81 That immortality to each, was given!
Keep deathful in reserve, till Putnam's sword " Shall wave and give the consummating word.' A strange sensation thrilled through every breast, As if upborne-translated with the bless'd. Their feeling such, no utterance was heard, Yet a small whisper in their bosoms stirr'd, That seem'd to speak as with the breath of heaven, That immortality to each was given. They knelt behind the bulwarks and surveyed With death-springs bent, the veteran's lifted blade, while with firm step the advancing legions pressed, And all the element with war distress'd; Near and more near they rise upon the steep. Yet their fix'd attitude the forted keep. Silence like judgment dwells upon the height. No threatening object is exposed to sight, save the proud banner floating in the breeze Redundant, then reclining at its ease. The stars shot forth an unexpected ray, Which on each hero burnt like living day; As when with lightning, Deity, his name, scrolls-such its keen transparency of flame: Of this, the invaders nothing could discern, For o'er them hung the shade of death's dark urn.
Page 82 Still Putnam Keeps His Sword Suspended High.
82 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. The patriots felt it - knew it was a sign, that had its source in agency divine. By this, so near the summit are the foe, that their flush'd countenance begins to show; where scorn is mingled with imperious pride, while the rude works they tauntingly deride. Still they in blazing depths hold progress on, Thinking already was the achievement won. Still Putnam keeps his sword suspended high. They now so close, he looks them in the eye! They caught the rising vengeance of his soul, which shocked them, as keen lightning from the pole. They paused - so terrible the veteran's ire, his glance appear'd an arrow tipp'd with fire.
His sword the instant like a meteor fell! A shriek of agony convulsed the hill! Confusion reigns-the squadron is no more. The fugitives bewilder'd seek the shore. They drop their arms-on board the barges leap, Intent to find a rescue on the deep. The dead in gashful attitudes are seen, While some yet gasp with death's contracting mien. So suddenly the embodied cohorts fell, it seem'd the effect of some bewildering spell.
Wide ruin show'd that havoc had been there, As when destruction lays creation bare: Thus when the sun through Cancer holds his reign, And the bright harvest waves upon the plain, The birch, the maple in rich livery dress'd - The elm, the oak with dignity impress'd. The flocks, the herds in luscious pastures feed, While in their nests the birds their young ones breed. Ready with harvest-hooks the reapers stand To take the glorious burden from the land. They hail the prospect of the fields around, As if fruition had their labors crown'd. They mark a cloud upon a hill to rest, But not a shadow passes o'er their breast, That such a spot, so circumscribed; would bring A sweeping blast to spoil their harvesting. Lo, as they wield their glittering sickles forth, The first gold sheaf to gather from the earth, Thunders explode tremendous on the hill. Keen lightnings flash while peal succeeds to peal. On fiery wings tornadoes rush amain, And sweep at once the glory of the plain:
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
The maple, beech, the elms, the oaks, are rent, And the torn fragments through the forest sent; The flocks are scatterdd,- deep the frantic herds Bellow distress. The summer flowers, the birds Are hurled in wild disorder on the gale, While the fast props of nature seem to fail. The harvesters in fierce amazement stare. Their station they retain-yet know not where. Balanced between delirium and despair: With like emotions the Britannians rose the steep-not dreaming of impending woes. They thought the new-ridged earth would backward shrink, Soon as their feet should tread upon its brink; But woe, deceived! They met a tempest there, that swept their hopes of golden harvest bare. Howe cast his sword in anguish on the earth, And wild with passion, drew his poniard forth. He made a pass to plunge it in his breast, And kill the frenzy that his mind distress'd. Gorden his aid, the instant seized his arm, And held it firm till reason hush'd th' alarm. The steel impatient glittering in the air, His laboring bosom heaving with despair.
BUNKER HILL. "The reeling earth! it sinks beneath my feet!" See spectres flying on yon fiery sheet! " Ah, Gordon! is it you? And do you deign "To live? With blood, I'll wash away the stain! "Forbear! and let my dagger have its play" Hence!-let me hide me from this hateful day! "What! would you live to endure the hiss- the scorn" Quick let me die-to compound dust return! "This royal token from my breast I tear" No longer I disgraceful will it wear. What! by a herd of peasants be subdued? "I cannot quench the thought in solitude, "Except I pour my blood upon the flame, "Which seems already to consume my frame." His voice here failed him, trembling, faltering, weak, And Gordon thus began with accent meek: Come, let me wipe these drops from off thy brow" Break through this darkness that o'erwhelms tiphe now.
The Rebels laugh to behold a Lord of England Weep!
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
"The rebels thousands thronging every steep, "Laugh to behold a lord of England weep! "Drive-cast these tears of bitterness away, " And let the vengeance of thy soul have play. "Let pride and honor in full passion swell, "And soon will that, these heavy thoughts dispel "Regrasp thy sword and desolate the hill!" Howe soon perceived his sinking heart to rise, While indignation muster'd in his eyes. He leap'd his charger-flash'd his brand in air, And bade his legions to their post repair. While o'er his brow high-waved his crimson plume, He felt as if new-risen from the tomb. Pitcarn and Percy, seized a flag and rode, Bold in advance t' inspire the multitude. By small degrees the panic fled their breasts. Soon stood they form'd with potency impress'd. Howe, like a new-forged thunderbolt of war, Appeared- His voice vociferates afar: " What! shall the British soldiery confess, "That they are puling infants in distress? "What! are our hearts composed of moulded wax, "To melt and all our energy relax?"
"Ye gods! can such indignity remain "And brand our dastard foreheads with the stain? " Never! with blood we'll wash it, till no trace "Shall show where written was the vile disgrace. "Behold, the winds have shifted in their flight, "Bending the conflagration to the height! "Beneath the cover of the smoke we'll rise, "Overleap the rampart! finish the emprise" Tread the stiff necks on the rebellious down, "Till they shall fear to raise a murmuring frown" Bent on the knee shall they adore the crown! "On! let no echo of the drum be heard, "Till light shall flash from my commanding sword, "Then let the music in its madness beat, " And tread the opprobrious flag beneath our feet! "This language like the burning town inflamed, Pledging to each, the past should be redeem'd. Firm lock'd, they move a living wall, as though no mortal arm its strength could overthrow. Mean time the cannon of the Glasgow rung, And o'er the defile grape and rage flung, Which kept the reinforcements at a bay, Fearing to pass and join th' impending fray.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
Coit, the heroic Chester, Clark, and Ford, strove by their eloquence and threatening sword, To urge their squadrons to advance and prove that their integrity not death could move. Putnam beheld the circumstance and flew, While hot resentment in his bosom grew, plying the rowel to his charger's flank, He soon was present mid the shrinking rank! Heavens! But speak, he could not. Chagrin and wrath, Forbade. He wheel'd, rode back, recross'd the path. Thrice he deliberately with loosen'd rein, guided his charger o'er the dangerous plain, While balls assailed him like a hail-stone shower, When the dark elements with thunders lower. At times the torn up earth would hide his form, so furious from the shipping beat the storm; Yet still he kept his course serenely calm, as if he breath'd the air of summer's balm. At length he found his indignation stay'd, And this warm language on their souls he laid: "Hence with the thought of danger to proceed! "The arm of heaven will shield you in the deed."
Let your eye gaze upon the standard there, and with firm step beneath its folds repair. To live this day, or on this day to die, "Will leave a name that ages will defy. "We soon or late must slumber on our bier"
What signifies the addition of a year? Yea, should we live till sear'd be autumn's leaf, 'Twould pass before us like a vision brief. "To exist on yonder height, one hour, will be " To wed our being to eternity.!"
"Onward the word! no longer must we pause! Let each translate his mind to meet the cause. "Mark how the hill is crimson'd with their gore? Sustain'd by Deity we upward soar! "Soon will the foe another effort make. Come! in the glory of the scene partake! "We linger. See, their broken ranks condenses! To them will we fatality evince! I'll be your shield to guard you on the way" The world's vast freedom we'll achieve this day! His sword, the hero brandish'd in his might, which threw around him an effulgent light. The stately Coit, with Chester, Ford, and Clark, caught from the falchion inspiration's spark,
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
And promptly follow'd where the veteran led, And soon unscathed, they pass'd the defile dread. Yet numbers palled with Gridley on the rear, Whose heart was frozen with the ice of fear, His father's valor purchased him a blade, which he thus recreant on the field betray'd. Putnam had half the distance climbed the steep, when he observed him still his station keep, Not offering to advance! He felt his soul rise, which his reason hardly could control. He rein'd his charger, while with firmer hand, He grasped his sword to make him eat the sand. A meteor on the wing, he seem'd to fly, When by its bloody train, man's destiny, It dire forebodes." No: I will not take "thy life-I spare it for thy father's sake. "0 how his heart would sink within him-fail, "Should I but whisper the disgusting tale! "Thus will our country ever meet with shame, While honors are bestow'd upon a name. "Because a sire a glorious race has run, I think his virtues must inspire the son.
"Thus shall we grovel on with judgment blind, "Till man enfranchised, shall proclaim to mind" To worth alone distinction shall be given! "The false pretenders to oblivion driven. "But to thy father what a blot-a stain! "Yet will the state this high instruction gain, "No more on titles, or on names to trust, "But in the virtues of the brave and just.
"Too long I've held communion with thee now" No foot like thine should ever tread the brow "Of that immortal steep! 'twould blight the cause, And make the car of victory to pause." He waved his brand indignant as he spoke, and at the dastard, cast such piercing look, it cut his heart as if transpierced with steel, which from his presence made him backward reel. Again the veteran leaped the defile o'er, yet heard he not the cannon's deafening roar, which bellow'd with a tongue that shook the plain, while death and desolation seem'd to reign. As Howe his troops a second time led forth, The hero stood upon the glorious earth,
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
And gave his orders not to move a nerve, till they around them should begin to curve, then would the signal to explode be given, to prove they battled on the side of heaven. While thus maintain'd the patriots their reserve, unshaken as if steel composed their nerve, their passions rose not, neither were depress'd. Unmoved - as if that granite wall'd their breast. What time in solid wedge the assailants press, Putnam the cannon levels with address. Ford whirls the match, applies it to the vent. A gashful opening through the cube is rent. They lock at once, by pride and wrath impelled, and hold a steady progress on the field. The chief directs another deadly aim, as soon they close the fatal breach the same. Mean time as thus the British strength drew near, again the voice of Warren charmed the ear. "Heroes! I feel that silence would express "More strong than words, what future years will bless" Your brilliant exploits this illustrious day! Exploits to live till nature shall decay!
Page 93 "To bind our limbs for daring to be free!"
"Yet something struggling in my bosom speaks, which for relief a ventive utterance seeks. "Another consecration is at hand, "For lo, approaches the enslaving band. "Methinks the chains and manicles I see,
to bind our limbs for daring to be free.
"Just God! before their shackles we'll receive, here on this altar will we cease to live! "But ere we fall, we'll price our blood so dear, that them we'll bankrupt till the final year" Not all the wealth of Thames or India's stream, "Will e'er to them, their loss this day redeem. "These showering ashes from the burning town, "are precious as the manna raining down "To feed our country with the bread of life, "Till she through tribulation wins the strife. "Yea, toils and tribulations will she see" But come it will, the year of jubilee!" He ceased. The Britons suddenly display, Like pride in madness they renew the fray. The cutting bullets sing upon the breeze Yet few the life of a Columbian seize. The thigh of aged Buckminster is broke, Yet still his countenance betrays no look that felt the passing of the ball which caused him backward from
his post to fall:
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
"Stand fast, my youthful comrades! heed me not" No: though I die I will not leave the spot. "With mine own hand the ruptured vein I'll staunch, "And jealous watch if any cheek shall blanch. "His age, his manner, wakened a regard, that all impressive with his feelings shared. At length the Albions reach the point desired, while each stands fixed with inspiration fired.
Williams and Spentlove fall.
Prescott exclaims: "They press the fatal verge" To do for death your souls I need not urge. "The sword of Putnam gleams to mark the time "It falls!" With calmness reaching the sublime, the patriots pour a centred volley forth, causing another layer to seal the earth of thickening grime. Williams and Spentlove fall While numbers shrieking for assistance call. Though death pursued each consecrated round, They only gazed to heaven with look profound - A look it was that show'd their hearts were there, with every bosom for their country bare.
The assailants reeled as if with blood made drunk, and with their anguish in convulsion shrunk. But in the chiefs a desperation rose, causing the faltering ranks to stand, to close. Lo, one by one, these chiefs are seen no more. The earth is drinking their expiring gore. Others rush forward to their places soon, but presently are these observed to swoon. They show, like passing shadows on the eye, that now are seen, then lost in vacancy. At this vast cost of life, Howe yet had power, To hold the dubious conflict of the hour. Still, still the Britons their position held, and flame with flame the battle-storm repelled. At times a patriot in his glory fell, whose spirit's upward flight illumed the hill: As when air, water, flame, contentious meet, and with a rushing violence compete; Pillars of fire from out the ocean burst. Huge mountains crumble! Cities turn to dust: Such the vast turbulence! The wasting scene! The sun is darken'd in his course serene. The flames of Charlestown mingle in the war. The circling heights with the concussion jar,
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
causing the gazing multitudes to reel, while they, a deep and awful impulse feel, As if the scales of life and death were there, in equal poise - yet balanced by a hair! Each breast was corded-every eye was set, while on their brows stood drops of icy sweat Each in himself absorbed; no organ stirr'd Not even the voice of female breath was heard. Mothers knew not the features of their child. All seem'd like chiseled marble rapt and wild. At length the foe stand leaning on a poise and less and less is heard the embattling noise. They give-recede! The hill once more is free, which breaks the pang of gazing agony.
BUNKER HLL. CANTO IV.
Page 99 The Death young Benjamin Prescott, (nephew of Col. Wm. Prescott), and
mortally wounded was McClary.
Howe is reinforced by Clinton. The third assault, Distress of the patriots for the want of refreshments. Death of Warren. Young Benjamin Prescott is mortally wounded while leading on the reserve. Edwin takes leave of his dying father. He slays Richardson. Parker falls. (Private Robert Parker of Groton) Death of Pitcarn. Moore expires upon the body of Warren. Death of McClary-Abercrombie slain-Howe is wounded.Both armies exhausted.
The British divisions having pressed up opposite each other, are, consequently, prevented from using their fire-arms, hence a new position becomes necessary. While arrangements are making for this movement, the Columbians, being unsupported, gradually recede from the height.
Scene-Copps Hill and Charlestown Heights. The time is about five hours - from the conclusion of the third canto till sunset.
Mean time Gage upon the adverse shore, Writhing with anguish, mark'd the streaming gore; When back a second time his legions fell, He beat his breast though tortured on the wheel. Near him stood Clinton rapt with silent tongue, who by expression show'd his heart was wrung:
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
Hasten, Clinton, haste, and navigate the tide, "And prove thy spirit is with death allied. "Should now the sun set bloody in the skies, "It never more on Britain would arise. "Why do I strive unutterable speech" I feel distraction! Onward to the beach, "And with the bayonet, a submission teach." Soon with his troops is Clinton on the stream, bearing the implements of war supreme: Him to support, are Addison and Page. Grant, Richardson are eager to engage their passions sharpened to the keenest edge; But yet far different are the thoughts to those, that first in panoply of war arose, whom Howe, as if to practice on review, from Boston, decked with nodding plumes, withdrew. They meet, on their return, his barges slow, struggling their way along, oppressed with woe. Blood from the wounded makes them deeper sink. Some have just expired, while others on the brink of death's steep precipice, shudder as they fall, while piteous, some for drops of water call. Others, the anguish in their bosoms lock, and with cramp'd features at their torture mock.
Some with stern brows gaze hateful at the Height, as if their very look, the stars would blight. The most wore different badges of command, which now were torn and soiled with blood and sand. This showed a hectic flush upon his cheek; that pale-eye closed with resignation meek. Those, heavy breathing, told their brains were pressed - those tasted air, yet motionless their breast; Others their broken limbs delirious swung, and leaping frantic in the waters sprung. This scene of various suffering made the eye grow sick - the heart beat faint like infancy. But soon the Clinton barges struck the shore, when torturing vengeance made ambition soar. Their evolutions, as they disembark, kindles their warring passions from a spark. Howe's scatter'd forces close upon the rear - yet still their countenance is cast with fear. They gaze at each mistrustful and estranged, as if their thoughts through terror were deranged. Clinton his cannon, at command of Howe, plantedm to rake the works upon the brow,
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
where Prescott held command - whose towering soul shrinks not to hear the deep explosions roll,though every ball leaves ruin in its path, threatening the slender battlements to scath. In three divisions the assailants form. At once the front and either flank to storm. Howe in the centre, Pigot on the right, while Abercrombie, to commence the fight, was with the left to move in manner proud, The music beating clamorous discord loud. Howe seized the occasion - all his soul put forth To keep their thoughts from stooping to the earth. "This movement is our last! Should now we fail, "The thousand-headed monster will prevail! "Rebellion-far more hideous in its shape, than gorgon fiends that ever from hell escape.
"Anointed royalty will be disgraced, " Its jewels tarnish'd and its robes defaced. Behold, a continent we win or lose! 'Tis now for us our destiny to choose, either to be the sport of vulgar jest, "Or wear the star of honor on our breast!"
Page 103 Still glorious waved the banner of the free.
"Select your choice; unalterable is mine"! To live or die for monarchy divine!" He ended. With a shout they rend the air, and bring at once their bristling arms to bear. Slow as they gain upon their object higher, they seem as clouds on wings of fire. Still glorious waved the banner of the free. Like hope when floating on a boisterous sea. Beneath its folds is no distinction seen. The chieftains fought, or labored with the men. One sentiment alone inspired the band - a unity of heart- a unity of hand. The will was strong, but nature now began To faint, to yield, and prove they were but men. They, through the night, unceasing, had pursued their giant toils without sustaining food; and from the rising of the sun till noon, their hearts had beat the same inspiring tune; twice they in conflict had withstood the foe, And caused the fountains of his life to flow. But now at length, they biting hunger feel, more sharp, more cruel than the lancing steel.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
Their vessels long of water had been dry, While every fibre seem'd with heat to fry. What with the ashes of the blazing town, and the sun pouring liquid fire down, it makes the particles of blood to burn, threatening the balance of the brain to turn; a restlessness of countenance; the eye glaring-reveals a fearful agony. Still no complaint is uttered-none,suppressed is every murmur-locked within the breast.
They'd pledged themselves to die. The pledge thus given, they see attested in the book of heaven. Though thus were their privations; thus their pain, it vanquished all, when Howe advanced again! From hunger they at once seem'd bounteous fed, as if they'd feasted on celestial bread; slaked was their thirst, as if they'd drank of wine, from grapes that ripened in a soil divine. From every pore, a healthy moisture flow'd, while in their cheeks a rising impulse glowed. Beside the gallant Prescott, Warren now stood, dignity serene upon his brow.
Page 105 Our Children's Children Will Assemble Here.
For on this spot, Liberty had her birth.
Death of Warren.
His voice had music as if tuned in heaven, while inspiration to his thoughts was given: "Behold, once more with strength renew'd, they come, to make this hill the place of Freedom's tomb. "In three divisions disciplined they press, "While heavy cannonry our works distress. But on this altar have we pledged to die! Here will our bones in deathless slumber lie" Our names inscribed in registers on high. "Oft as this day shall number in the year, "Our children's children will assemble here, "And pour to heaven their adorations forth, "That on this spot had Liberty her birth! "How grand, how rich, how ravishing the theme! " Glad would my soul take wing upon the flame, "If on this Height, Written be my name!" 'Tis written! -Prescott clasps him to his breast "What bliss is mine to find such glorious rest!" Here language failed him, but his eye still spoke with eloquence-for heaven pour'd thought upon his look.
He, Warren, baid the world fairwell.
106 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
He gazed upon the flag, then raised his hand, As if to bless the symbol of the land. This done-it gently on his bosom fell. He smiled like infant sleep and bade the world farewell: On Holyoke's mountain thus in grandeur stood a pine, the most majestic of the wood. An everlasting verdure crowned its boughs, in which, her resting-place the eagle chose, When tiring in the sun, her wing she bent to visit the terrestrial element. As up to heaven return'd the morning dew, A goodly shadow o'er the land it threw. When round it storms condensed in fearful might, it still maintain'd its glory on the heights - Nor winter blasts, nor summer heats could blight. But lo, from out the armory of heaven, A bolt descends!-its vigorous trunk is riven. It falls-the eagle mourns her favorite tree. To her, a solace in her nest 'twill be to teach her young its glorious history:
Thus Warren fell with all his honors green, in ruins, yet with dignity serene;
And mothers with a tear upon their cheek, will teach their lisping babes, his name, the first to speak.
"How beautiful in death the chief appears!" Thus Prescott rapt and smiling through his tears. A rich oblation on the altar laid, "where future adorations will be paid to all who here their resting-place select" Not cankering time their memories will effect" But with the years, more flourishing will bloom "The amaranth of glory on their tomb! Here let me slumber- tis a boon I crave" To sleep with Warren, what a deathless grave! " But see! the sword of Putnam gives the sign, Now prove his spirit dwells with us divine!" Keen flash'd the fires like centre-lightnings driven, commission'd with the wrath of angry heaven. Five chiefs of royalty the instant fell. The columns pause disordered on the hill. Shrieks, wounds, and death ensue at every peal: as when at evening in the midst of June, just at the rising of the full-orb'd moon, The sultry vapors in the west condense, brewing thick wrath for coming violence.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
The hurrying clouds like mustering troops collect, when they, some sudden desperate deed project. Pale lightnings flash, remote the thunders drear, send forth a muttering language round the sphere, threatening and deep. The moon overcast with haze, throws on the elements a lurid gaze. Upward and vast the struggling volumns heave, while on the hills the pines begin to grieve! Portentious of distress. Behold, with fear, they stoop their heads, for lo! in mad career rushes the tempest with a bolt from heaven, as if the granite base of earth were riven. The storm advancing on the whirlwind's breath, seals up the western hemisphere with death.
Chaos mounting his courser, void of rein.
The moon still throws across the heavens a light, which just makes visible the hideous night, wailing murderous shrieks! Presently a cloud muffles her face as with a coffin shroud. And now the blazing lightnings belt the sky, while thunders hold their awful revelry. Chaos, mounting his courser, void of rein, tosses the clouds upon the hurricane: not this unlike the fierce contention dire, wrapp'd in the foldings of exploding fire.
The flames of Charlestown in their fiercest rage, with the blurr'd elements a conflict wage; the smoke in cumberous volumes in mid air, hangs like death's drapery o'er the scene of war.
[Benjamin Prescott, son of Hon. James Prescott, a nephew of commander, Colonel William Prescott,
Hon. James Prescott, also a Colonel, who m. his cousin, Susanna Lawrence dau. of Col. Wm Lawrence
& his wife, Susanna Prescott. Their 1st child:
1. Benjamin Prescott b. April 15, 1753, a lieutenant and killed at the battle of Bunker Hill.
Source: p.56 - Prescott Memorial by Dr. William Prescott, Concord, N.H. - 1870.]
Young Benjamin Prescott, nephew of the chief, imbibed his uncle's spirit, never to be proscribed by mandates issued by king or lord, so long as strength had he to grasp a sword. Rapid his motions, yet deliberate, cool his mind - to strike the breast or bore the skull. Jordon in robes of royalty arrayed, urges his cohorts with exciting blade, sending his voice before him on the hill. The youth but marks him, and his voice is still! His gold and silver robes expose their dross besoiled, the proud one welters in the fosse.
A bullet in the ear of Prescott sings! His arm beside him, broken, useless swings. Resting his piece, he with the other arm loads, and thus repeatedly the foe he goads. His uncle binds him to his heart: my son! "I feel my blood within thy veins to run. "Retire-encourage with thy voice the troop, "Never from their integrity to stoop"
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
To him is given, the wonderful exchange of earth for Heaven!
"My dearest uncle"
Lo! to him is given the wonderful exchange of earth for heaven!
Of him, no mortal part remains-entire, Elijah-like, he rose on wings of fire. His uncle stood astounded for a time, rapt in the attitude of awe sublime. The ponderous globe had jarred him as it pass'd, while round his brows a circling light was cast, resembling that which we, in cascades see, testing the presence of divinity.
The troops - the marvellous display beheld - They felt the cause with inspiration sealed, and deep, and rapid, deadlier volleys peeled. Meantime reserved the hoary Gardner stood, while beat his pulse with young ambition's blood. Ambitious that his country might be freed, and he partake of the illustrious deed. He saw the Britons pause upon the hill. No longer he restrain'd his troops, their will: "Warriors! the pressure calls us to the height, "There to put forth the sinew of our might.
BUNKER HILL. I rest in peace - my Country will be free.
"Though leads our path through scenes of thickest war, "Not death itself must cause a nerve to jar." A firm, calm spirit shone in every eye, To do such deeds as might with Spartans vie. Rapidly they move. Soon the dubious fray, from Bunker's towering summit they survey the hill beneath them like Vesuvius seem'd, while the warm blood in smoking torrents stream'd. "To heaven ascends a pyramid of fire "There would I choose to light my funeral pyre, "Where from my blood would rise"- Pause not for me" A vision glorious in my death I see" I rest in peace. My country will be free!"
The hot keen bullet cut the tender groin, And buried in the bone that forms the loin. The scorching anguish burnt upon the brain, yet he appeared as if he felt no pain. Trevett delay'd his step to bear him hence, But his look gave impressive evidence, That if he wish'd a kindness to bestow, onward to press and lead against the foe.
112 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
Young Gardner Prescott, next to Trevett held command, and on the rear he bore his glittering band blest by the touch of his Martha's hand. He at the moment that his father fell, had just commenced ascending of the hill, but the progressive movement of the men, soon brought him to behold the harrowing scene. He heard his voice encouraging the troop, never from their integrity to stoop; But when he saw him overlaid with gore, and that the period of his life was o'er, lie fell in speechless agony and flung his arms about him and convulsive clung, And press'd him to his heart, while on his cheek, gush'd the hot tears-unable yet to speak: " And must we here forever-ever part! " I see existence fluttering from thy heart."
My father! Ah, that name is now no more" Fast art thou travelling to that unknown shore!" The anguish of his soul his voice o'erpowered. Triumphant over death the hero tower'd: "It cannot be that thou art still my son? "What, Edwin! grieve that thus my sands are run?"
Page 113 Tears, the raindrops of the soul.
"Thus glorious to expire, will change to gold " Each particle the glass of time has told. "This life I freely to my country give, 'That she exempt from tyranny may live. "If thou wouldst have me bless thee in my death, "On to the battle and thy brows enwreath with laurel, fadeless as this day will be" And prove thy father's spirit lives in thee."
On-pause ye not! Let wrath dry up thy tear" Yea, let my blood give vengeance to thy spear" Tis second death to see you linger here! His son arose. His tears were dried in flame, which at the instant kindled through his frame. He gazed upon his father's closing eyes" But one embrace-the last before you die! "Again the cording of his heart gave way, back from his gushing eyes he dash'd the spray. Once more he held him in his arms and pressed His pallid lips, and poured upon his breast, the raindrops of the soul. And now he rose calm - as if inwardly he felt repose. He grasp'd his sword - he linger'd not - yet fell one accent more: " Farewell! in heaven, farewell!"
114 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
"In yonder field, but give my spirit rest, And I will hail thee in the mansions blest!" He waved his hand. Edwin advanced his sword towards the strife, but utter'd not a word. His father's blood upon his bosom dwelt while aspirations, not of earth he felt. One look he gave his sire, and then to heaven, He cast his eye, as if to be forgiven, that he so long had linger'd from the field, where victory an even balance held. Perhaps large fountains by his hand had streamed - Perhaps his arm, his country had redeem'd!
The father smiled upon his son in death, Oppressed with transport he resigned his breath. Young Gardner rushes mid the thickest strife with desperation, prodigal of life. The foe gives way before him, for his eye glows like a meteor that inflames the sky. Proud Richardson chagrin'd, yet chafing, saw The band that he commanded pause-withdraw: " What! shall we fail to execute our will? "Never! resistless with the bayonet -kill! "Through every vein, let burning lava run" We rise-we strike;-behold, the work is done!"
He rushes on the youth-the blow is met. Swords clash-glance fire, while foot to foot is set. Soon Richardson perceives his breath grows short. His features cramp'd, with haggard death distort. His knees relax-they sink beneath his weight. Gardner suspends his sword-but ah, too late! Its edge already had the artery rent, through which the blood towards the hand is sent, just at the armpit. Such the passions were, he knew not when was laid the vessel bare. He springs erect as in the act to thrust, he falling, mingles with primeval dust. "Now will my father's spirit rest in peace, "For I a ghost have sent to his release. "An edge this blade, Martha's touch hath given, "As if 'twere tempered in the fire of heaven." This Edwin having said, he kiss'd the hilt, which her sweet lips had press'd when she the belt Had fix'd. New ardor burns through every nerve, Giving his arm a more determined curve. He meets with Frye-like pestilence they smite, Causing disaster where they spend their might. Again the Albions shrink-but Pigot, Howe, And Pitcarn, Abercrombie, bind them now;
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
For lo, the freedom-volleys seem to wane, or they had turn'd and scatter'd to the plain. But this revived them, drooping in despair, and Howe advancing with undaunted air, pronounced the maddening onset: " Onward press ! "See-hearken!
Ammunition spent, still they fight on!
In exhaustion, less and less "The rebel-fires stream forth! Divisions! rush, And at a blow the audacious treason crush!" They heard his voice, as if they ne'er before had trod the hill and seen it drench'd in gore. They leap'd the fosse to climb the parapet! They strove - but still unsparing death their path beset. For now the patriots having spent their all, the quickening dust to electrify the ball, they turn'd their weapons, and with giant blows, beat back the assailants as in steel they rose. No bristling points have they to pierce the breast, yet still they stand and with the foe contest. Helmets are cleft on high, while foot to foot, they battle, gathering an immortal fruit - A fruit--whose flavor will ascend to heaven, And a rich harvest to the earth be given.
Page 117 Gorgon, Williams, Addison, Howe, Pitcarn.
This thirsting steel is from opponent wrench'd, And in his bosom is its burnings quench'd; These grasp with sinewy muscle, till in death, or one or both, surrender up their breath. Still fierce and bolder the assailants crowd - Arms clash arms, dying groans-shouts pealing loud. Gordon and Williams, Addison, in turn are cloven down and clasp death's sable urn. The summit round receives a fearful stain, As if that heaven had pour'd a sanguine rain. At length, Howe tortured, rushes in advance, While streaming sparkles from his falchion glance, urging the troops to give him their support, and make a terrible, a last effort.
Private Robert Parker of Groton - Slain.They climb the parapet-the heroes there, with blows and thrusts, compel them to forbear; Again they mount,-determin'd to obey their chief, and all their energy display. Now Pitcarn twice the parapet had scaled, And twice against him, Parker's arm prevail'd, But lo, supported by a numerous train, Parker is presently o'erpower'd and slain. Nine bayonets pierced him, stomach, breast and side.
Col. William Prescott in rage kills three of the British.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
He rich with honor for his country died. As Pitcarn shouted victory on high, Prescott beheld him with a stern-fix'd eye. Three brawny soldiers sunk beneath his might, Ere he could meet the ruffian in the fight
He thought of Lexington-his murders there. It gave him strength-a lion in his lair. "Thou agent of oppression, bite the dust!' He plunged upon him with a fatal thrust! Rage drove the steel till deaden'd by the hilt - the floodgates open'd, soon his life was spilt. His body gasping down the embankment roll'd, while blood and dust besoil'd his royal gold. His son was on his rear to bear him through. He caught him in his arms and wild withdrew, kissing his quivering lips, with foamy gore bestain'd - showing that his career was o'er him in a waiting barge he gently laid, And with fix'd gaze, his countenance survey'd. His struggling now excites a transient blush, while from the wound, the purple fountains gush.
His eyes begin to close-his cheeks wax pale. He starts,- pulse fluttering through exhaustion, fail Wandering they return, - then, intermit between the spasms of his dying fit. He raises now his hand his son to bless, who, seizing grasps it with convulsive press. He wipes the dew as fast as it collects, And from his lips, the foam that he ejects from off his vitals, causing in his throat A hollow rattling-death's portentous note. The affecting scene drew tears from friend and foe, for hearts not marble, sympathize with woe. As close and closer press'd the bayonets,still, more desperate the Columbians kept the hill. Putnam was ever foremost in the fray. He stands a tower where numbers faint-give way. The arms of Pomeroy stream with smoking blood! They break the cisterns and let out the flood. Stark bathed in sweat with Pigot bold contends, and soon him backward from the mound he sends. When Howe beheld the bleeding Pitcarn roll, unsightly down the steep, wrath seized his soul.
120 THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
"I'll meet with single arm that rebel foe! "Vengeance is mine to bring the traitor low! " Dastards! give place - ye hinder me the way"! Ye are not worthy to abide the fray. "Not I will live another day to see - Here-here will I commence eternity! "Onward!-give place"" He rush'd upon the mound, where dealing death, he, gallant Prescott found. Frye, Edwin, Brooks, McClary, Pomeroy, Moore, beside him stood, but so begrimed with gore, scarce could the eye recognize who they were! Their bosoms open and their arms stripp'd bare, strewing around them havoc and despair. Moore met the haughty Briton in his rage, And aim'd a blow, his life to disengage; But Howe the weapon parried from his brain, and open'd with his sword the throbbing vein, which leading upward, furnishes the head with inspiration, wrapped in mystery dread. Where Warren press'd the earth, the hero fell, and him embracing thus: " Patriots! farewell! " A nobler grave than this I not desire" I have glorious fought, and gloriously expire."
This said-his sword he places on his breast, which sooths his spirit as he sinks to rest.
Prescott in the mean time wrestled with the chief, till numerous bayonets pressed to his relief. With living steel they compass him around - Howe, at the instant falters with a wound. The anguish cut his heart --his heel was broke. His lofty frame with trembling weakness shook. Prescott perceived the panic and dismay, And through the steely circle carves his way, by Brooks supported, Pomeroy, & Frye. But lo, McClary falls from a pursuing blow. By his tremendous arm, three skulls were rent! The lock's projection through the casement sent! But now upon the chief, a rush is made, and through his neck is plunged the reeking blade. The scimitar of Pomeroy smites the foe, and makes his hand the fatal steel forego! Too late! A shivering seizes on his limbs, While o'er his sight the film of darkness swims. Not death could change his features, for his eye expresses joy - in such a scene to die. His soul mounts upward to her native sphere, His body resting on the patriot's bier!
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
His native soil, more honorable far, Than borne in state upon a gorgeous car. Now Abercrombie passing o'er his corse, Delivers this excitement to his force: "Shout to the heavens!- the victory is ours! "The Lion from resistance mightier towers! "We've choked the current of rebellion's flood, " And seaped its fountain up with Warren's blood! Putnam mark'd the boaster - his stature seem'd to raise - his keen fierce eye a meteor gleam'd. "I Warren's blood avenge!" No more he said. He brandish'd in the face of heaven his blade, in which more eloquence of prayer there dwelt, than ever yet by priest in robes was felt. His sword met Abercrombie's steel-the clash Caused zones of fire with vividness to flash. As lightning blazes from a cloud and dies. So lived-so ceased the strife. The Briton lies stretching in death. The sword had found its way between the ribs where vital organs play. Two soldiers plunge at Putnam with the spear, but at a blow they fall - they disappear!
No weapon the Britannians could explode, for closing, opposite they facing stood, hence would a death-shot friend and foe destroy, should reckless they the blazing tubes employ; A new position therefore must they take, which hardly they have energy to make. Clinton, the order gives-voice, stammering, weak, for his parched tongue scarce audible can speak.
Man's nature could no more - the will was strong, the exhausting struggle desperate to prolong; But every sinew to its utmost strength, had been exerted, and gives way at length.
Each wildly gazes on the other round, but none are able to effect a wound. They feel war's passion in their hearts to rage, but feeble all their efforts to engage. A well-aim'd blow falls short for want of force. An infant's hand might bend it from its course. A sweat resembling coming death, appeared on every brow, while still the tongue was seared. They pant, they gasp for breath, as when oppress'd, stands the spent stag, laboring with heaving breath.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL.
Thus when two elephants on Asia's plain, Stung with the smart of jealousy's fierce pain, approach each other with a look that shows, that in their hearts a kindling furnace glows. They rush together with severe address, causing their ribs to bend beneath the press. Around each other's giant limbs they coil - Their huge proboscis, prone upon the soil - To cast each headlong, then with crushing feel to trample till extinct the vital heat. Their thunderous voice rebellowing through the wood, starts the wolf's howling and the hyenas! Aio The tiger and the leopard watch the strife, but in the combat peril not their life. Sweat flows in streams-their laboring breath grows short, their eyes from struggling from their place distort. As fails their mighty strength, their passions rise, to conquer, win, enjoy the tempting prize. At length, exhausted, bathed in blood they pause, unable longer to maintain the cause.
Their blasting looks a burning rage reveal, while they through weakness on a balance reel.
So stand the troops of either flag at bay. Exertions vast, had took their strength away. These to assail, the others to defend, till knees relaxing sink, and reel, and bend. A single arm would turn the trembling scale, but ah, that arm was wanting to prevail. "Where, Gridley! where art thou! Thus Putnam exclaims, smiting his heart convulsive mad. "Will no one come-not one to give us aid? The veteran could no more....grief choked his tongue, while cramping agony his bosom wrung. He motions backward with his sword. The sign The patriots comprehend, to yield the line, and farther combat merciful decline.
With funeral step reluctant they recede, while their rent heart-strings drops of anguish bleed. At times
a tear falls scalding down their cheek, but none, the utterance of a word can speak. Cold beads of sweat upon the brow congeal, which show what inward struggling they conceal.
THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL. Putnam yet lingering on the rear, the last back on the foe a stern defiance cast. His countenance appear'd like Jupiter's, when he summoned the gods to reverence his decree. The hero leads the immortals o'er the plain, at whom the vessels poured their wrath in vain. The Eagle, though retreating, waves her plumes in radiant light and victory assumes. Soon on a neighboring steep the flag is seen, touch'd with a ray of setting sun serene. While round the glorious height a rainbow curled its chosen colors beautiful unfurled - A sign that Liberty would bless the world. The gazing multitudes on bended knee, with upraised hands adore the Deity. Pure from the altar of the heart is given an incense that conveys the soul to heaven. >From every hill instinct with life is sent gratitude - a mental sacrament, that from their neck they loosen'd felt - the yoke hat the first link in slavery's chain was broke! That the Supreme, for them his arm made bare, And placed the token of remembrance there,
The day that hailed a Nation's Birth!
that when the hills of other lands should fail, this chosen Height in memory would prevail; and when no more shall other days be told - Their deeds with all their circumstance grown old, this day would live in capitals of gold; that Warren's name a talisman would be, for nations stooping on a bended knee, to rend their chains. To rise to strike! Be FREE! AN ODE TO INDEPENDENCE. LET deafening cannon peal to heaven, their kindled thunders jar the earth! Lo, this the day to glory given! The day that hail'd a Nation's birth! Let the full soul from south to north, join to proclaim the wondrous day! Let shouting millions on the Fourth, shrill to the heavens the news convey! The theme demands creation's tongue to bear its swelling chorus high! The anthem first Columbia sung, and shall be heard till Time shall die! As blackening whirlwinds edged with fire, strike terror to the guilty name;
ODE TO INDEPENDENCE.
so tyrants one by one expire, consumed by Freedom's hallow'd flame! France in her giant strength sprang for arm'd with a spear and truth's bright shield; and, while she sang her glorious song, waved the tri-banner o'er the field! Beneath its folds exalted stood, on honor's loftiest parapet, He, who the gazing world adored - Our great, our good, our own LAFAYETTE! A captive long in durance bound, England majestic feels her might; Her chains fall sundered to the ground. Indignant, she demands her right!
Hail! Albion! hail! the charm is broke, that long hath chilled thy heart with fear; Loosed be thy neck from oppression's yoke. Poised in thy hand is Freedom's spear! The impatient goblets charge with wine! Let every eye invoke the sphere; kneel-pledge the sages names divine! And hail them with enraptured tear! We this proud day to them decree, And swear with an uplifted hand, that we'll maintain their legacy, or sprinkle with our blood the land!- WASHINGTON CITY, July 4th, 1839.
THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS WAS FORWARDED BY THOSE PATRIOTS WHO COMPOSED THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, 10TH MAY, 1775,
TO THE OPPRESSED PEOPLE OF IRELAND.
Friends and fellow-subjects. As the important contest, into which we have been driven, is now become interesting to every European State, and particularly affects the members of the British empire, we think it our duty to address you on the subject. We are desirous, as is natural to injured innocence, of possessing the good opinion of the virtuous and humane.-- We are peculiarly desirous of furnishing you with a true state of our motives and objects; the better to enable you to judge of our conduct with accuracy, and determine the merits of the controversy with impartiality and precision. However incredible it may appear, that, at this enlightened period, the leaders of a nation, which in every age has sacrificed the catombs of her bravest patriots on the altar of liberty, should presume gravely to assert, and, by force of arms, attempt to establish an arbitrary sway over the lives, liberties, and property of their fellow-subjects in America; it is nevertheless a most deplorable and indisputable truth. These colonies have, from the time of their first settlement, for near two centuries, peaceably enjoyed those very rights, of which the ministry have, for ten years past, endeavored, by fraud and by violence, to deprive them. At the conclusion of the last war, the genius of England and the spirit of wisdom, as if offended at the ungrateful
treatment of their sons, withdrew from the British counsels, and left that nation a prey to a race of ministers, with whom ancient English honesty and benevolence disdained to dwell. From that period, jealousy, discontent, oppression, and discord, have raged among all his majesty's subjects, and filled every part of his dominions with distress and complaint. Not content with our purchasing of Britain, at her own price, clothing and a thousand other articles used by near three millions of people on this vast continent; not satisfied with the amazing profits arising from the monopoly of our trade, without giving us either time to breathe after a long though glorious war, or the least credit for the blood and treasure we have expended in it; notwithstanding the zeal we had manifested for the service of our sovereign, and the warmest attachment to the constitution of Britain and the people of England, a black and horrid design was formed, to convert us from freemen into slaves, from subjects into vassals, and from friends into enemies. Taxes, for the first time since we landed on the American shores, were, without our consent, imposed upon us; an unconstitutional edict to compel us to furnish necessaries for a standing army, that we wished to see disbanded, was issued; and the legislature of New York suspended for refusing to comply with it. Our ancient and inestimable right of trial by jury, was, in many instances, abolished; and the common law of the land made to give place to admiralty jurisdictions. Judges were rendered, by the tenure of their commissions, entirely dependent on the will of a minister. New crimes were arbitrarily created; and new courts, unknown to the constitution, instituted. Wicked and insidious governors have been set over us; and dutiful petitions for the removal of even the notoriously infamous governor Hutchinson, were branded with the opprobious appellation of scandalous and defamatory. Hardy attempts have been made under color of parliamentary authority to seize
Americans, and carry them to Great Britain to be tried for offences committed in the colonies. Ancient charters have no longer remained sacred; that of the Massachusetts Bay was violated, and their form of government essentially mutilated and transformed. On pretence of punishing a violation of some private property, committed by a few disguised individuals, the populous and flourishing town of Boston was surrounded by fleets and armies; its trade destroyed; its port blocked up; and thirty thousand citizens subjected to all the miseries attending 'so sudden a 'convulsion in their commercial metropolis; and to remove every obstacle to the rigorous execution of this system of oppression, an act of parliament was passed evidently calculated to indemnify those who might, in the prosecution of it, even imbue their hands in the blood of the inhabitants. Though pressed by such an accumulation of undeserved injuries, America still remembered her duty to her sovereign. A Congress, consisting of deputies from twelve United Colonies, assembled. They in the most respectful terms laid their grievances at the foot of the throne; and implored his majesty's interposition in their behalf. They also agreed to suspend all trade with Great Britain, Ireland, and the West Indies; hoping, by this peaceable mode of opposition, to obtain that justice from the British ministry which had been so long solicited, in vain. And here permit us to assure YOU, that it was with the utmost, reluctance we could prevail upon ourselves, to cease our commercial connection with your island.
Your parliament had done us no wrong. You had ever been friendly to the rights of mankind; and we acknowledge, with pleasure and gratitude, that your nation has produced patriots, who have nobly distinguished themselves in the cause of humanity and America. On the other hand, we were not ignorant that the labor and manufactures of Ireland, like those of the silkworm, were of little moment to herself; but served only to give luxury to those who neither toil nor spin.
We perceived that if we continued our commerce with you, our agreement not to import from Britain would be fruitless, and were therefore compelled to adopt a measure, to which nothing but absolute necessity would have reconciled us. It gave us, however, some consolation to reflect, that should it occasion much distress, the fertile regions of America would afford you a safe asylum from poverty, and in time from oppression also; an asylum in which many thousands of your countrymen have found hospitality, peace, and affluence, and become united to us by all the ties of consanguinity, mutual interest, and affection.
Nor did Congress stop here: flattered by a pleasing expectation, that the justice and humanity which had so long characterized the English nation, would, on proper application, afford us relief; they represented their grievances in an affectionate address to their brethren in Britain, and entreated their aid and interposition in behalf of these colonies. The more fully to evince their respect for their sovereign, the unhappy people of Boston were requested by the Congress to submit with patience to their fate; and all America united in a resolution to abstain from every species of violence.-During this periodthat devoted town suffered unspeakably. Its inhabitants were insulted, and their property violated. Still relying on the clemency and justice of his majesty and the nation, they permitted a few regiments to take possession of their town; to surround it with fortifications; and to cut off all intercourse between them and their friends in the country. With anxious expectation did all America wait the event of their petition - all America laments its fate.- Their prince was deaf to their complaints: and vain were all attempts to impress him with a sense of the sufferings of his American subjects, of the cruelty of their task-masters, and of the many plagues which impended over his dominions. Instead of directions for a candid inquiry into our grievances, insult was added to oppression; and our long forbearance rewarded with the imputation of cowardice. Our trade with
foreign states was prohibited; and an act of parliament passed to prevent our even fishing on our own coasts. Our peaceable assemblies, for the purpose of consulting the common safety, were declared seditious; and our asserting the very rights which placed the Crown of Great Britain on the heads of the three successive princes of the house of Hanover, styled rebellion. Orders were given to reinforce the troops in America. The wild and barbarous savages of the wilderness have been solicited by gifts to take up the hatchet against us; and instigated to deluge our settlements with the blood of the innocent and defenceless women and children.- The whole country was, moreover, alarmed with the horrors of domestic insurrections. Refinements in parental cruelty, at which the genius of Britain must blush! Refinements which admit not of being even recited without horror, or practised without infamy! We should be happy, were these dark machinations the mere suggestions of suspicion. We are sorry to declare, that we are possessed of the most authentic and indubitable evidence of their reality. The ministry, bent on pulling down the pillars of the constitution, endeavored to erect the standard of despotism in America; and if successful, Britain and Ireland may shudder at the consequences! Three of their most experienced generals, are sent to wage war with their fellow-subjects; and America is amazed to find the name of Howe in the catalogue of her enemies:--she loved his brother. Despairing of driving the colonists to resistance by any other means than actual hostility, a detachment of the army at Boston marched into the country in all the array of war; and, unprovoked, fired upon, and killed several of the inhabitants.-The neighboring farmers suddenly assembled, and repelled the attack. From this, all communication between the town and country was intercepted.-- ~Lie citizens petitioned the general for permission to leave the town, and he promised, on surrendering their arms, to permit them to depart with their other effects. They accordingly surrendered their
arms, and the general violated his faith. Under various pretences, passports were delayed and denied; and many thousands of the inhabitants are at this day confined in the town, in the utmost wretchedness and want. The lame, the blind, and the sick, have indeed been turned out into the neighboring fields; and some, elu. ding the vigilance of the sentries, have escaped from the town, by swimming to the adjacent shores. The war having thus began on the part of general Gage's troops, the country armed and embodied. The reinforcements from Ireland soon after arrived; a vigorous attack was then made upon the provincials. In their march, the troops surrounded the town of Charlestown, consisting of about four hundred houses, then recently abandoned to escape the fury of a relentless soldiery.
Having plundered the houses, they set fire to the town, and reduced it to ashes. - To this wanton waste of property, unknown to civilized nations, they were prompted the better to conceal their approach under cover of the smoke. A shocking mixture of cowardice and cruelty, which then first tarnished the lustre of the British arms, when aimed at a brother's breast! But blessed be God, they were restrained frotn committing farther ravages, by the loss of a very considerable part of their army, including many of their most experienced officers.The loss of the inhabitants was inconsiderable. Compelled therefore to behold thousands of our countrymen imprisoned, and men, women, and children involved in promiscuous and unmerited misery-When we find all faith at an end, and sacred treaties turned into tricks of state; when we perceive our friends and kinsmen massacred, our habitations plundered, our houses in flames, and their once happy inhabitants fed only by the hand of charity; who can blame us for endeavoring to restrain the progress of desolation? who can censure our repelling the attacks of such a barbarous band? who, in such circumstances, would not obey the great, the universal, the divine law of self-preservation?
Though vilified as wanting spirit, we are determined to behave like men-though insulted and abused, we wish for reconciliation.Though defamed as seditious, we are ready to obey the laws-and though charged with rebellion, will cheerfully bleed in defence of our sovereign in a righteous cause.-What more can we say? What more can we offer? But we forbear to trouble you with a tedious detail of the various and fruitless offers and applications we have repeatedly made, not for pensions, for wealth, or for honors, but for the humble boon of being permitted to possess the fruits of honest industry, and to enjoy that degree of liberty, to which God and the constitution have given us an undoubted right. Blessed with an indissoluble Union, with a variety of internal resources, and with a firm reliance on the justice of the Supreme Disposer of all human events, we have no doubt of rising superior to all the machinations of evil and abandoned ministers.
We already anticipate the golden period, when liberty, with all the gentle arts of peace and humanity, shall establish her mild dominion in this western world, and erect eternal monuments to the memory of those virtuous patriots and martyrs, who shall have fought and bled and suffered in her cause. Accept our most grateful acknowledgments for the friendly disposition you have always shown towards us. We know that you are not without your grievances. We sympathize with you in your distress, and are pleased to find that the design of subjugating us, has persuaded administration to dispense to Ireland, some vagrant rays of ministerial sunshine. Even the tender mercies of government have long been cruel towards you.-In the rich pastures of Ireland, many hungry parricides have fed, and grown strong to labor in its destruction. We hope the patient abiding of the meek may not always be forgotten; and God grant that the iniquitous schemes of extirpating liberty from the British empire may be soon defeated.
But we should be wanting to ourselves; we should be perfidious to posterity; we should be unworthy that ancestry from which we de. rive our descent, should we submit with folded arms to military butchery and depredation, to gratify the lordly ambition, or sate the avarice of a British ministry. In defence of our persons and properties, under actual violation, we have taken up arms; when that violence shall be removed, and hostilities cease on the part of the aggressors, they shall cease on our part also. For the achieve. ment of this happy event, we confide in the good offices of our fellow. subjects beyond the Atlantic. Of their friendly disposition we do not yet despond; aware as they must be, that they have nothing more to expect from the same common enemy, than the humble favor of being last devoured. The following record of facts will be read with deep interest, as they led to the ever memorable action portrayed, which resulted in giving liberty to the American nation at a time liberty had flown, and iron tyrants ruled the land alone. To THE HON. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, ESQ., AT LONDON. In Provincial Congress, Watertown, April 26, 1775.
>From the entire confidepce we repose in your faithfulness and abilities, we consider it the happiness of this colony, that the important trust of agency for it, in this day of unequalled distress, is devolved on your hands, and we doubt not your attachment to the cause and liberties of mankind will make every possible exertion in our behalf, a pleasure to you; although our circumstances will com. pel us often to interrupt your repose by matters that will surely give you pain. A singular instance hereof is the occasion of the
present letter. The contents of this packet, will be our apology for troubling you with it. From these you will see how and by whom we are at last plunged into the horrors of a most unnatural war. Our enemies, we are told, have despatched to Great Britain a fallacious account of the tragedy they have begun; to prevent the operation of which to the public injury, we have engaged the vessel that conveys this to you, as a packet in the service of this colony, and we request your assistance in supplying captain Derby, who commands her, with such necessaries as he shall want, on the credit of your constituents in Massachusetts Bay. But we most ardently wish that the several papers herewith enclosed may be immediately printed and dispersed through every town in England, and especially communicated to the lord mayor, aldermen, and council of the city of London, that they may take such order thereon, as they may think proper. And we are confident your fidelity will make such improvement of them, as shall convince all, who are not determined to be in everlasting blindness, that it is the united efforts of both Englands, that can save either. But that whatever price our brethren in the one, may be pleased to put on their constitutional liberties, we are authorized to assure yo j,.hat the inhabitants of the other, with the greatest unanimity, are in. flexibly resolved to sell theirs only at the price of their lives.
Signed by order of the provincial congress.
JOSEPH WARREN, President, P. T.
A true copy from the original minutse A. FREEMAN Secretary
In Provincial Congress, Watertown, May 3, 1775.
TO THE HONORABLE AMERICAN CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, TO BE CONVENED AT PHILADELPHIA, ON THE TENTH OF MAY INST.
May it please your Honors - The congress of this colony, impressed with the deepest concern for their country, under the present critical and alarming state of its public affairs, beg leave with the utmost submission, whilst acting in support of the cause of America, to request the direction and assist. ance of your respectable assembly. The enclosed packet, containing copies of the depositions, which we have despatched for London, also an address to the inhabitants of Great Britain, and a letter to our colony agent, Benjamin Franklin, Esq., are humbly submitted to your consideration. The sanguinary zeal of the ministerial army, to ruin and destroy the inhabitants of this colony, in the opinion of this Congress, hath rendered the establishment of an army indispensably necessary; we have accordingly passed a unanimous resolve for thirteen thousand six hundred men, to be forthwith raised by this colony, and proposals are made by us to the congress of New-Hampshire and governments of Rhode Island and Connecticut colonies, for furnishing men in the same proportion. The sudden exigency of our public affairs, precluded the possibility of waiting for your direction in these important measures, more especially, as a considerable reinforcement from Great Britain is daily expected in this colony, and we are now reduced to the sad alternative of defending ourselves by arms, or submitting to be slaughtered. With the greatest deference, we beg leave to suggest, that a powerful army on the side of America, hath been considered by this congress, as the only means left to stem the rapid progress of a tyrannical ministry. Without a force superior to our enemies, we
must reasonably expect to become the victims of their relentless fury. With such a force, we may still have hopes of seeing an immediate end put to the inhuman ravages of mercenary troops in America, and the wicked authors of our miseries brought to condign punish. ment, by the just indignation of our brethren in Great Britain. We hope that this colony will, at all times, be ready to spend and be spent in the cause of America. It is, nevertheless, a misfortune greatly operating to its disadvantage, that it has a great number of seaport towns, exposed to the approach of the enemy by sea; from many of which, the inhabitants have removed, and are removing their families and effects, to avoid destruction from ships of war. These, we apprehend, will be generally distressed from want of sub. sistence, and disabled from contributing aid for supporting the forces of the colony; but we have the greatest confidence in the wisdom and ability of the continent to support us, so far as it shall appear ne. cessary for supporting the common cause.of the American colonies. We also enclose several resolves for empowering and directing our receiver-general to borrow the sum of one hundred thousand pounds, lawful money, and to issue his notes for the same; it being the only measure which we could have recourse to for supporting our forces; and we request your assistance in rendering our measures effectual. by giving our notes a currency through the continent.
JOSEPH WARREN, President, P. T.
Monday, May 29, 1775.
The Congress met according to adjournment. The committee to whom the letter to the inhabitants of Canada was recommitted, brought in the same, which was read and approved, and is as follows:
TO THE OPPRESSED INHABITANTS OF CANADA.
Friends and Countrymen
Alarmed by the designs of an arbitrary ministry to extirpate the rights and liberties of all America, a sense of common danger conspired with the dictates of humanity in urging us to call your atten. tion, by our late address, to this very important object. Since the conclusion of the late war, we have 6een happy in considering you as fellow-subjects, and from the commencement of the present plan for subjugating the continent, we have viewed you as fellow-sufferers with us. As we were both entitled by the bounty of an indulgent Creator to freedom, and being both devoted, by the cruel edicts of a despotic administration, to common ruin, we perceived the fate of the protestant and catholic colonies to be strongly linked together, and therefore invited you to join with us in resolving to be free, and in rejecting with disdain the fetters of slavery, however artfully polished. We most sincerely condole with you on the arrival of that day, in the course of which, the sun could not shine on a single freeman in all your extensive dominion. Be assured that your unmerited degradation has engaged the most unfeigned pity of your sister colonies, and we flatter ourselves you will not, by tamely bearing the yoke, suffer that pity to be supplanted by contempt. When hardy attempts are made to deprive men of rights bestowed by the Almighty, when avenues are cut through the most solemn compacts for the admission of despotism, when the plighted faith of government ceases to give security to dutiful subjects, and when the
insidious stratagems and manceuvres of peace become more terrible than the sanguinary operations of war, it is high time for them to as. sert those rights, and, with honest indignation, oppose the torrent of oppression rushing in upon them. By the introauction of your present form of government, or rather present form of tyranny, you and your wives and your children are made slaves. You have nothing that you can call your own, and all the fruits of your labor and industry may be taken from you, when. ever an avaricious governor and a rapacious council may incline to demand them. You are liable by their edicts to be transported into foreign countries to fight battles in which you have no interest, and to spill your blood in conflicts from which neither honor nor emol. ument can be derived: Nay, the enjoyment of your very religion, on the present system, depends on a legislature in which you have no share, and over which you have no control, and your priests are ex. posed to expulsion, banishment, and ruin, whenever their wealth and possessions furnish sufficient temptation. They cannot be sure that a virtuous prince will always fill the throne, and should a wicked or a careless king concur with a wicked ministry in extracting the trea. sure and strength of your country, it is impossible to conceive to what variety and to what extremes of wretchedness you may, under the present establishment, be reduced. We are informed you have already been called upon to waste your lives in a contest with us. Should you, by complying in this instance, assent to your new establishment, and a war break out with France, your wealth and your sons may be sent to perish in expeditions against their islands in the West Indies. It cannot be presumed that these considerations will have no weight with you, or that you are so lost to all sense of honor. We can never believe that the present race of Canadians are so degenerated as to possess neither the spirit, the gallantry, nor the courage of thrir ancestors. You certainly will not permit the infamy and disgrace
of such pusillanimity to rest on your own heads, and the consequences of it on your children forever. We, for our parts, are determined to live free or not at all, and are resolved that posterity shall never reproach us with having brought slaves into the world. Permit us again to repeat that we are your friends, not your enemies, and be not imposed upon by those who may endeavor to create animosities. The taking of the fort and military stores at Ticonderoga and Crown-Point, and the armed vessels on the Lake, was dictated by the great law of self-preservation. They were intended to annoy us, and to cut off that friendly intercourse and communication which has hitherto subsisted between you and us. We hope it has given you no uneasiness, and you may rely on our assurances, that these colonies will pursue no measures whatever, but such as friendship, and a regard for our mutual safety and interest, may sug. gest. As our concern for your welfare entitles us to your friendship, we presume you will not, by doing us injury, reduce us to the disagree. able necessity of treating you as enemies. We yet entertain hopes of your uniting with us in the defence of our common liberty, and there is yet reason to believe, that should we join in imploring the attention of our sovereign to the unmerited and unparalleled oppressions of his American subjects, he will at length be undeceived, and forbid a licentious ministry any longer to riot in the ruins of the rights of mankind. Ordered, That the above letter be signed by the President.
EXTRACT FROM THE ADDRESS OF THE TWELVE UNITED COLONIES, BY THEIR DELEGATES IN CONGRESS, TO THE INHABITANTS OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Friends, Countrymen, and Brethren By these, and by every other appellation that may designate the ties which bind us to each other, we entreat your serious attention to this our second attempt to prevent their dissolution. Remembrance of former friendships, pride in the glorious achievements of our common ancestors, and affection for the heirs of their virtues, have hitherto preserved our mutual connection; but when that friendship is violated by the grossest injuries; when the pride of ancestry becomes our reproach, and we are no otherwise allied than as tyrants and slaves; when reduced to the melancholy alternative of renouncing your favor or our freedom, can we hesitate about the choice? Let the spirit of Britons determine. In a former address we asserted our rights, and stated the injuries we had then received. We hoped that the mention of our wrongs would have roused that honest indignation which has slept too long for your honor, or the welfare of the empire. But we have not been permitted to entertain this pleasing expectation. Every day brought an accumulation of injuries, and the invention of the ministry has been constantly exercised in adding to the calamities of your American brethren. After the most valuable right of legislation was infringed; when the powers assumed by your Parliament, in which we are not represented, and from our local and other circumstances cannot properly be represented, rendered our property precarious; after being denied that mode of trial to which we have long been indebted for the safety of our persons, and the preservation of our liberties; after being in many instances divested of those laws which were transmitted to us by our common ancestors, and subjected to an arbitrary code, compiled
under the auspices of Roman tyrants; after those charters. which encouraged our predecessors to brave death and danger in every shape, on unknown seas, in deserts unexplored, amidst
barbaous and inhospitable nations, were annulled; when, without the form of trial, without a public accusation, whole colonies were condemned, their trade destroyed, their inhabitants impoverished; when soldiers were encouraged to imbrue their hands in the blood of Americans, by offers of impunity; when new modes of trial were instituted for the ruin of the accused, where the charge carried with it the horrors of conviction; when a despotic government was established in a neighboring province, and its limits extended to every of our frontiers, we little imagined that any thing could be added to this black catalogue of unprovoked injuries: but we have unhappily been deceived, and the late measures of the British ministry fully convince us that their object is the reduction of these colonies to slavery and to confirm this assertion, let us recall your attention to the affairs of America since our last address. Let us combat the calumnies of our enemies; and let us warn you of the dangers that threaten you in our destruction. Many of your fellow-subjects, whose situation deprived them of other support, drew their maintenance from the sea; but the deprivation of our liberty being insufficient to satisfy the resentment of our enemies, the horrors of famine were superadded, and a British Parliament, who, in former times, were the protectors of innocence and the patrons of humanity, have, without distinction of age or sex, robbed thousands of the food which they were -accustomed to draw from that inexhaustible source, placed in their neighborhood by the benevolent Creator.
Please note that missing pages here - were Illustrations from the original work - but were not
included when scanned.
The above OCR scanned material - edited and corrected by Janice Farnsworth
December 23, 2006.
Rod Bigelow Box 13 Chazy Lake