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Thou heed'st me not; thou hearest not
The trumpet echoing near;
Flies soundless by thine ear,
An hour ago thou wert all life,
With fiery soul and eye,
To do thy best, and die-
the warrior's way.
Why are those trappings on thy form!
The harness could not shield
That hurtled o'er the field.
A thousand like thyself, ah me!
Are stretch'd upon the ground; While the glad trump of victory
Is pealing round and round: Hark, how the victors shout and cheer?
It matters not the dead are here!
Arise! the Pæan /rings aloud,
The battle field is won;
Before the booty's done:
Silent, and grim, and sad to view,
Thou liest upon the plain; To bleach or fester in the dew,
The sun, the winds, the rain: What art thou now, poor luckless tool? A murderer's mark, a tyrant's fool.
BY RICHARD PENN SMITH.
In the year 1812, shortly after the declaration of war with Great Britain, I made an excursion, partly of business, partly of pleasure, into that beautiful and romantic section of Pennsylvania, which lies along its northeastern boundary. One morning while pursuing my journey, I heard at a distance the sound of martial music, which gradually became more distinct as I ascended the Blue Ridge, and seemed to proceed from a humble village, situated in the deep valley beneath, on the bank of the Delaware. Nothing could exceed the splendour of the scene that lay below. The sun was just rising, his first beams were gradually stealing through the break or gap in the distant mountains, which seems to have been burst open by the force of the torrent; and as they gilded the dark green foliage of the wilderness, presented a view which might well awaken the genius of art, and the speculations of science, but was far too pure to be estimated by those, whose taste had been corrupted by admiration of the feeble skill of man.
There are indeed throughout the globe, various features which th
most plausible theories are scarce sufficient to account for, and among them may truly be classed that to which we have alluded, where the Delaware has cut its way through the rugged bosom of the Kittatinny mountain. The scene is indeed sublime, and while
raising the eye from the surface of the water to the blue summit of the ridge, a perpendicular height of twelve hundred and fifty feet, the question forcibly occurs, was this wonderful work the effect of an inward convulsion of nature, or was it occasioned by the irresistible pressure of water, ages before the European dreamed of the existence of a western world ?
After gazing and reflecting for some time on the wonders of nature, thus suddenly spread before me, I resumed my journey. The music, which still continued, proceeded, as I found, from a band of soldiers drawn up in the main street of the village, surrounded by their friends and families who had evidently assembled for the purpose of taking a melancholy farewell. I descended the mountain by the circuitous path, and rode up to the inn before which the crowd had gathered, but they were all too busily engaged with their own feelings to notice the arrival of a stranger. Wives were listening to the last injunction of their husbands, the widowed mother to the voice of her valued son, the prop of her declining years, and many a bashful maiden lent her ear to the protestations of eternal affection, which, at that time, sounded tenfold sweeter as they flowed from the lips of the warlike lover. The shrill fife was playing, the drum beating, and amid the jargon of voices, the corporal was heard swearing like a trooper, in order to keep up the dignity of his station. The little bandy-legged drummer beat with uncommon earnestness ; it was uncalled for at the time, and I was at a loss to account for his making such a deafening noise, when I perceived a shrewish looking beldame at his elbow, whose shrill voice satisfied me that he would find comparative tranquillity in the field of battle, to being within its appalling influence. The
fifer, out of compassion, lent the aid of his shrill music to relieve his friend from this last unpleasant lecture.
Removed from the crowd, I observed a young man, an officer of the corps, in conversation with a young woman, who did not strive to conceal her sorrow on the occasion. Health, beauty, and innocence, were strongly depicted in her countenance, and her rustic garb concealed a form, even thus decorated, far more attractive than
many who move, for a season, the constellation of a ball-room, and imagine they have attained the extent of worldly ambition. The young man's face was animated, yet in the enthusiasm of the moment, he could not conceal the sadness of his heart, while gazing on the lovely being standing in tears beside him ; the order was given to march; he embraced her, imprinted a fervent kiss upon her pale forehead, placed her in the arms of an aged woman, who stood hard by, and hurried to the ranks. The soldiers left the village followed by a troop of little urchins, who were either pleased with the parade, or were desirous of prolonging the melancholy moment of separating from a parent or brother. The women remained in the street watching them as they slowly ascended the mountain path, until they were out of sight, and then returned to their lonely cottages : one only lingered on the spot until the last sound of the distant drum was no longer repeated by the echo of the mountains.
I inquired of the innkeeper concerning the young woman just mentioned, who informed me that her name was Lucy Gray, the only child of a poor widow, who in former days had been in more prosperous circumstances: that she had been betrothed to Hugh Cameron, the young soldier, from their childhood, and that their nuptials were to have been celebrated in a few weeks, but as he