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- Poems of American Patriotism - 7/30 -


"You may have them all for nothing, and more, if you want," quoth he. "I will have them, my good fellow, but can pay for them," said she; And she clambered on the wagon, minding not who all were by, With a laugh of reckless romping in the corner of her eye.

Clinging round his brawny neck, she clasped her fingers white and small, And then whispered, "Quick! the letters! thrust them underneath my shawl! Carry back again _this_ package, and be sure that you are spry!" And she sweetly smiled upon him from the corner of her eye.

Loud the motley crowd were laughing at the strange, ungirlish freak, And the boy was scared and panting, and so dashed he could not speak; And, "Miss, _I_ have good apples," a bolder lad did cry; But she answered, "No, I thank you," from the corner of her eye.

With the news of loved ones absent to the dear friends they would greet, Searching them who hungered for them, swift she glided through the street. "There is nothing worth the doing that it does not pay to try," Thought the little black-eyed rebel, with a twinkle in her eye.

MOLLY MAGUIRE AT MONMOUTH

WILLIAM COLLINS

[Sidenote: June 28, 1778] _The battle of Monmouth was indecisive, but the Americans held the field, and the British retreated and remained inactive for the rest of the summer._

On the bloody field of Monmouth Flashed the guns of Greene and Wayne. Fiercely roared the tide of battle, Thick the sward was heaped with slain. Foremost, facing death and danger, Hessian, horse, and grenadier, In the vanguard, fiercely fighting, Stood an Irish Cannonier.

Loudly roared his iron cannon, Mingling ever in the strife, And beside him, firm and daring, Stood his faithful Irish wife. Of her bold contempt of danger Greene and Lee's Brigades could tell, Every one knew "Captain Molly," And the army loved her well.

Surged the roar of battle round them, Swiftly flew the iron hail, Forward dashed a thousand bayonets, That lone battery to assail. From the foeman's foremost columns Swept a furious fusillade, Mowing down the massed battalions In the ranks of Greene's Brigade.

Fast and faster worked the gunner, Soiled with powder, blood, and dust, English bayonets shone before him, Shot and shell around him burst; Still he fought with reckless daring, Stood and manned her long and well, Till at last the gallant fellow Dead--beside his cannon fell.

With a bitter cry of sorrow, And a dark and angry frown, Looked that band of gallant patriots At their gunner stricken down. "Fall back, comrades, it is folly Thus to strive against the foe." "No! not so," cried Irish Molly; "We can strike another blow."

* * * * *

Quickly leaped she to the cannon, In her fallen husband's place, Sponged and rammed it fast and steady, Fired it in the foeman's face. Flashed another ringing volley, Roared another from the gun; "Boys, hurrah!" cried gallant Molly, "For the flag of Washington."

Greene's Brigade, though shorn and shattered, Slain and bleeding half their men, When they heard that Irish slogan, Turned and charged the foe again. Knox and Wayne and Morgan rally, To the front they forward wheel, And before their rushing onset Clinton's English columns reel.

Still the cannon's voice in anger Rolled and rattled o'er the plain, Till there lay in swarms around it Mangled heaps of Hessian slain. "Forward! charge them with the bayonet!" 'Twas the voice of Washington, And there burst a fiery greeting From the Irish woman's gun.

Monckton falls; against his columns Leap the troops of Wayne and Lee, And before their reeking bayonets Clinton's red battalions flee. Morgan's rifles, fiercely flashing, Thin the foe's retreating ranks, And behind them onward dashing Ogden hovers on their flanks.

Fast they fly, these boasting Britons, Who in all their glory came, With their brutal Hessian hirelings To wipe out our country's name. Proudly floats the starry banner, Monmouth's glorious field is won, And in triumph Irish Molly Stands beside her smoking gun.

SONG OF MARION'S MEN

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT

[Sidenote: 1780-1781] _While the British Army held South Carolina, Marion and Sumter gathered bands of partisans and waged a vigorous guerilla warfare most harassing and destructive to the invader._

Our band is few, but true and tried, Our leader frank and bold; The British soldier trembles When Marion's name is told. Our fortress is the good greenwood Our tent the cypress-tree; We know the forest round us, As seamen know the sea. We know its walls of thorny vines, Its glades of reedy grass, Its safe and silent islands Within the dark morass.

Woe to the English soldiery, That little dread us near! On them shall light at midnight A strange and sudden fear: When, waking to their tents on fire, They grasp their arms in vain, And they who stand to face us Are beat to earth again. And they who fly in terror deem A mighty host behind, And hear the tramp of thousands Upon the hollow wind.

Then sweet the hour that brings release From danger and from toil; We talk the battle over, And share the battle's spoil. The woodland rings with laugh and shout As if a hunt were up, And woodland flowers are gathered To crown the soldier's cup. With merry songs we mock the wind That in the pine-top grieves, And slumber long and sweetly On beds of oaken leaves.

Well knows the fair and friendly moon The band that Marion leads-- The glitter of their rifles, The scampering of their steeds. 'Tis life to guide the fiery barb Across the moonlight plain; 'Tis life to feel the night-wind That lifts his tossing mane. A moment in the British camp-- A moment--and away Back to the pathless forest, Before the peep of day.

Grave men there are by broad Santee, Grave men with hoary hairs; Their hearts are all with Marion, For Marion are their prayers. And lovely ladies greet our band With kindliest welcoming, With smiles like those of summer,


Poems of American Patriotism - 7/30

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