Hannah F Gould


With cherub smile, the prattling boy,
Who on the veteran's breast reclines,
Has thrown aside his favorite toy,
And round his tender finger twines
Those scattered locks, that with the flight
Of four-score years are snowy white;
And, as a scar arrests his view,
He cries, "Grand-Pa', what wounded you?"
"My child, 'tis five and fifty years
This very day, this very hour,
Since from a scene of blood and tears,
Where valor fell by hostile power,
I saw retire the setting sun
Behind the hills of Lexington;
While pale and lifeless on the plain
My brothers lay, for freedom slain!
"And ere that fight, the first that spoke
In thunder to our land, was o'er,
Amid the clouds of fire and smoke
I felt my garments wet with gore!
'Tis since that dread and wild affray,
That trying, dark, eventful day
From this calm April eve so far,
I wear upon my cheek the scar.
"When thou to manhood shalt be grown,
And I am gone in dust to sleep,
May freedom's rights be still thine own,
And them and thine in quiet reap
The unblighted product of the toil
In which my blood bedewed the soil!
And, while those fruits thou shalt enjoy,
Bethink thee of this scar, my boy!
"But, should thy country's voice be heard
To bid her children fly to arms,
Gird on thy Grandsire's trusty sword;
And, undismayed by war's alarms,
Remember, on the battle-field,
I made the hand of God my shield!
And, be thou spared, like me, to tell
What bore thee up, while others fell!"