Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BATTLE AT THE RIVER RAISIN; JANUARY 22, 1813, by LEVI BISHOP

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BATTLE AT THE RIVER RAISIN; JANUARY 22, 1813, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Now gleam and thunder, from afar
Last Line: Shall swell your lasting fame.
Subject(s): Faith; Life; Soldiers; War; Belief; Creed

Now gleam and thunder, from afar,
The threatening clouds of savage war;
The war-whoop and the wild hurrah,
Proclaim the rising gloom.

Now waves on high the savage crest;
Revenge now heaves the savage breast;
His race now send their high behest --
The white man's bitter doom.

And yet that small but fearless band,
Is there, with firm resolve, to stand,
The bulwark of their native land,
Whatever may betide.

Then let the deadly bullet fly --
The arrow sing along the sky:
They echo back the battle cry,
The issue they abide.

Now sweep the red men o'er the plain,
And Proctor's columns charge amain,
And rifles rattle, and again,
The deafening cannon boom.

And Raisin's banks are heaped with dead,
And Raisin's flood is dyed with red;
Brave warriors find a lowly bed --
The soldier's honored tomb.

Though victory we cannot boast,
Yet hold the field at any cost;
Oh, yield it not till it has lost,
Its very last defender!

That fearful shout, that fiendish yell!
As from the very gates of hell!
Alas! too plainly they foretell,
The folly of surrender.

Enough; the vanquished yield the strife,
Assured of safety and of life;
'Gainst tomahawk and scalping knife,
The Briton's faith is given.

That faith is not an empty sound?
Then where shall treachery be found?
Speak! whitening bones, above the ground,
Denied for months the burial mound,
Is Britain's honor riven?

Victors! the torture, slaughter, ply!
All your infernal engines try!
Wring out the deep, the cursing sigh!
Call down the vengeance of the Sky!
Just retribution now is nigh --
Defeat and burning shame.

Ho! Chiv'lry of the West, awake!
Your country calls, the plow forsake,
The victor's vaunted power to shake;
Beside the Thames his ranks shall break;
Avenge the torture and the stake!
And forest, prairie, river, lake,
Shall swell your lasting fame.

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