On Veterans Day—An American Veteran
Joseph Warren, an American patriot leader and the President of Congress—although commissioned major-general after the fight at Lexington—entered the war, instead, as a soldier of the line. Warren died—shot at Bunker Hill—rallying the militia at the final redoubt.
Warren’s Address to the American Soldiers,
Before the Battle of Bunker’s Hill.
Will ye give it up to slaves?
Will ye look for greener graves?
Hope ye mercy still?
What’s the mercy despots feel!
Hear it in that battle peal!
Read it on yon bristling steel!
Ask it,—ye who will.
Fear ye foes who kill for hire?
Will you to your homes retire?
Look behind you! they’re afire!
And, before you, see
Who have done it!—From the vale
On they come!—and will ye quail?
Leaden rain and iron hail
Let their welcome be!
In the God of battles trust!
Die we may—and die we must:—
But, O, where can dust to dust
Be consigned so well,
As where heaven its dews shall shed
On the martyred patriot’s bed,
And the rocks shall raise their head,
Of his deeds to tell?
—JOHN PIERPONT, The National Reader (1827).
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