Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GUERRILLA, by JOHN GARDINER CALKINS BRAINARD



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THE GUERRILLA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Though friends are false, and leaders fail
Last Line: Here all their fragrance shed.
Subject(s): Freedom; Guerrillas; Liberty


THOUGH friends are false, and leaders fail,
And rulers quake with fear;
Though tamed the shepherd in the vale,
Though slain the mountaineer;
Though Spanish beauty fill their arms,
And Spanish gold their purse--
Sterner than wealth's or war's alarms,
Is the wild Guerrilla's curse.
No trumpets range us to the fight;
No signal sound of drum
Tells to the foe, that in their might
The hostile squadrons come.
No sunbeam glitters on our spears,
No warlike tramp of steeds
Gives warning --for the first that hears
Shall be the first that bleeds.
The night breeze calls us from our bed,
At dewfall forms the line,
And darkness gives the signal dread
That makes our ranks combine:
Or should some straggling moonbeam lie
On copse or lurking hedge,
'T would flash but from a Spaniard's eye,
Or from a dagger's edge.
'T is clear in the sweet vale below,
And misty on the hill;
The skies shine mildly on the foe,
But four upon us still.
This gathering storm shall quickly burst,
And spread its terrors far,
And at its front we'll be the first,
And with it go to war.
O! the mountain peak shall safe remain --
'T is the vale shall be despoiled,
And the tame hamlets of the plain
With ruin shall run wild;
But Liberty shall breathe our air
Upon the mountain head,
And Freedom's breezes wander here,
Here all their fragrance shed.





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