Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE EVE OF BUNKER HILL [JUNE 16, 1775], by CLINTON SCOLLARD



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THE EVE OF BUNKER HILL [JUNE 16, 1775], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Twas june on the face of the earth, june with the rose's
Last Line: The men whose might made strong the height on the eve of bunker hill!
Subject(s): American Revolution; Bunker Hill, Battle Of


'T WAS June on the face of the earth, June with the rose's breath,
When life is a gladsome thing, and a distant dream is death;
There was gossip of birds in the air, and a lowing of herds
by the wood,
And a sunset gleam in the sky that the heart of a man holds good;
Then the nun-like Twilight came, violetvestured
and still,
And the night's first star outshone afar on the eve of Bunker Hill.

There rang a cry through the camp, with its word upon rousing word;
There was never a faltering foot in the ranks of those that heard; --
Lads from the Hampshire hills, and the rich Connecticut vales,
Sons of the old Bay Colony, from its shores and its inland dales;
Swiftly they fell in line; no fear could their valor chill;
Ah, brave the show as they ranged a-row on the eve of Bunker Hill!

Then a deep voice lifted a prayer to the God of the brave
and the true,
And the heads of the men were bare in the gathering dusk and dew;
The heads of a thousand men were bowed as the pleading rose, --
Smite Thou, Lord, as of old Thou smotest Thy people's foes!
Oh, nerve Thy servants' arms to work with a mighty will!
A hush, and then a loud Amen! on the eve of Bunker Hill!

Now they are gone through the night with never a thought of fame,
Gone to the field of a fight that shall win them a deathless name;
Some shall never again behold the set of the sun,
But lie like the Concord slain, and the slain of Lexington,
Martyrs to Freedom's cause. Ah, how at their deeds we thrill,
The men whose might made strong the height on the eve of Bunker Hill!





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