O'er Huron's wave the sun was low,
The weary soldier watch'd the bow
Fast fading from the cloud below
The dashing of Niagara.
And while the phantom chain'd his sight,
Ah! little thought he of the fight -
The horrors of the dreamless night,
That posted on so rapidly.
Soon, soon is fled each softer charm;
The drum and trumpet sound alarm,
And bid each warrior nerve his arm
For boldest deeds of chivalry;
The burning red-cross, waving high,
Like meteor in the evening sky,
Proclaims the haughty foemen nigh
To try the strife of rivalry.
Columbia's banner floats as proud,
Her gallant band around it crowd,
And swear to guard or make their shroud
The starred flag of liberty.
"Haste, haste thee, Scott, to meet the foe,
And let the scornful Briton know,
Well strung the arm and firm the blow
Of him who strikes for liberty."
Loud, loud the din of battle rings,
Shrill through the ranks the bullet sings,
And onward fierce each foeman springs
To meet his peer in gallantry.
Behind the hills descends the sun,
The work of death is but begun,
And red through twilight's shadows dun
Blazes the vollied musketry.
"Charge, Miller, charge the foe once more."
And louder than Niagara=s roar
Along the line is heard, encore,
on to death or victory."
From line to line, with lurid glow,
High arching shoots the rocket's bow,
And lights the mingled scene below
Of carnage, death, and misery.
The middle watch has now begun,
The horrid battle-fray is done,
No longer beats the furious drum,
To death, to death or victory.
All, all is still - with silent tread
The watchman steals among the dead,
To guard his comrade's lowly bed,
Till morning gave him sepulture.
Low in the west, of splendour shorn,
The midnight moon with bloody horn
Sheds her last beam on him, forlorn,
Who fell in fight so gloriously;
Oh! long her crescent wax and wane
Ere she behold such fray again,
Such dismal night, such heaps of slain,
Foe mix'd with foe promiscuously.