172. the battle-cry.Look there! the beacon's crimson light
Is blazing wide and far,
And sparkles in its towering height
The rocket's signal-star.
Rise! rise! the cannon rolls at last
Its deep and stern reply,
And heavier sleep is coming fast,
Than seals the living eye.
And now the warning trumpet peals!
The battle's on the way;
The bravest heart that moment feels
The thrilling of dismay;
Around the loved, in shrinking fear,
Love's straining arms are cast;
The heart is in that single tear,
That parting is the last.
A thousand windows flash with fires,
To light them through the gloom,
Before the taper's flame expires,
To glory or the tomb;
Far down the hollow street rebounds
The charger's rattling heel;
And, ringing o'er the pavement, sounds
The cannon's crushing wheel.
Then answers to the echoing drum
The bugle's stormy blast;
With crowded ranks the warriors come,
And bands are gathering fast;
Red on their arms the torchlight gleams,
As on their footsteps spring,
To perish ere the morning beams,
For death is on the wing.
The courier, in his arrowy flight,
Gives out the battle-cry;
And now march on with stern delight,--
To fill is not to die.
Already many a gallant name
Your country's story bears;
Go, rival all your fathers' fame,
Or earn a death like theirs.