April is National Poetry Month: Revolutionary Soldier

/ / History

The author is unknown yet the words could be said to resonate in many American Revolutionary War Veterans. The physical suffering is not the dominating factor of this prose, but the realization that what is left behind by those “tot’ring o’er the grave” is the contribution to “Generations yet to come, Shall find a lasting peaceful home.”   These words should be a cherished gift, and a warning, to us their posterity.

“The beginning of the 19th century was, for many Americans, a time to take stock. Some of the leading lights of the revolutionary generation had begun to fade or pass away—Benjamin Franklin died in 1790, and Alexander Hamilton in 1804. The death of George Washington in 1799 brought about a period of national mourning and introspection, as the country reflected on its first president’s legacy, as well as the nation’s future.”

Lines Written by a Revolutionary Soldier

“On taking a retrospective view of my sufferings while in the Revolutionary army, in which I served
three years and a half, in which time I suffered with hunger, cold, and want of clothing.”

“ON the cold earth I oft have lain,
Oppress’d with hunger toil and pain,
While storms and tempests roar’d around,
And frost and snow had cloth’d the ground
The British troops, did us assail,
In storms of snow, and rattling hail,
All this with patience long we bore,
Until that sanguine war was o’er,
And Independence made secure,
For which we did those toils endure,
Our hostile foes then left our shore,
Retired for to return no more,—
Fair freedom now her laurels spread
O’er hostile fields where warriors bled;
No more we hear the din of war,
Nor thund’ring cannon from a far,
Here peace spreads o’er our fertile plains,
No tyrants shake their galling chains,
Our ships safe o’er the ocean glide,
And waft in wealth with ev’ry tide,
My friends remember us who bled,
When on the sanguine fields you tread,
Nor spurn us if of you we crave,
Some aid while tot’ring o’er the grave.
Our fleeting days will shortly end,
Then with our native dust we blend,
Death soon will close our languid eyes,
And all our cares beneath the skies:
Columbia’s sons who us survive,
And in this land of freedom live,
Revere that Providential hand,
That long has blest your happy land—
Your Constitution ever prize,
Your tow’ring fame will reach the skies,
And while you all in Union blend,
It will from war your shores defend—
Daily improvements here are made
For agriculture and for trade,
Here tow’ring manufactures rise
Where’er you turn your wand’ring eyes;
Your treasuries now with gold o’erflow,
Riches abound where’er you go,
No hostile banners you alarm,
You sit at home free from all harm—
Long may your happy land be blest,
And you enjoy both peace and rest;
Look back and see what we have done,

Generations yet to come,
Shall find a lasting peaceful home.
Extol the victories we have won,
And when we all in dust shall sleep,
To our memories will long vigils keep,
And o’er our heads will trophies raise,
With lasting songs of joy and praise.
And now my friends a long adieu,
Our fleeting days are short and few,
We soon must leave this trying shore.
And land where time shall be no more.”