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The Battle Of Chateauguay Post by :spankonator Category :Poems Author :W. M. Mackeracher Date :November 2011 Read :2173

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The Battle Of Chateauguay

There is a valley where the wheat fields wave
In autumn like a gold ymolten sea;
There is a river whose cool waters lave
Sweet-scented gardens, groves, and rolling lea,
And homes of people worthy to be free;
There is a name whose sound is like a song
On lips of its own maidens--Chateauguay;
Yet mighty as the combat of the strong,
And glorious as the march of Freedom over Wrong.

And here they fought; and each encountered ten,
With war-steed and artillery arrayed;
But righteous was their cause, and they were men,--
Dark plumes of Iroquois, and Scotia's plaid,
But most, the brothers of the arm which made
Napoleon terrible with triumphing.
Between the foe and heaven they knelt and prayed,
Then, rising, heard their leader's summons ring--
"Such is our duty to our God--now for our King!"

Again they knelt; but now 'twas not to pray;
A murd'rous volley crashes from their line;
But tenfold thunder mocks their mimic fray;
From furious gun and flashing carabine,
Like roaring billows and the driving brine,
The glut is backward hurled. Hurrah! 'tis vain!
The vengeful fools, like men who war in wine,
Intoxicate with madness, overfain
For blood, have fired o'erhead, and not a man is slain.

Meantime, the valiant hero of the fight
Upon his flank had foiled another foe,
Who now, retreating back in broken plight,
Dismayed the rest with vision of their woe.--
To see and seize, the leader is not slow;
He rushes to his buglers, bids them fast
Withdraw into the woods, advance and blow--
"As for your lives this effort were the last!--
Yea, blow as Britain's throne depended on your blast!"

Away they ran, and, wheeling, sharply blew
The wide-mouthed din obedient to his word:
Afar to north and south the echoes flew;
The Indian child was startled, and the bird
Affrighted from its peaceful nest; it stirred
The sluggish waters of the swart Outarde.
Aghast, the Southron a great army heard,
And fled before the visionary sword,
As fled the Syrian host, deceived by Israel's Lord.

Back! cravens, back! in ignominy fly!
Back to your homes, your country, and your slaves!
But thou art holy ground, and ne'er shall die
Thy virtue and thy fame while still Time saves
His best. And still shall states when conquest craves
From thee the salutary lesson learn,
The poet call thy heroes from their graves,
To thee the warrior point, the patriot turn,
Thou last of Freedom's fields--Canadian Bannockburn!


(The end)
W. M. MacKeracher's poem: Battle Of Chateauguay

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