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ILLUMINATION FOR VICTORIES IN MEXICO, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Light up thy homes, columbia
Last Line: Light up, light up your homes!
Alternate Author Name(s): Greenwood, Grace
Subject(s): United States - Mexican War (1846-1848)

LIGHT up thy homes, Columbia,
For those chivalric men
Who bear to scenes of warlike strife
Thy conquering arms again,
Where glorious victories, flash on flash,
Reveal their stormy way, --
Resaca's, Palo Alto's fields,
The heights of Monterey!

They pile with thousands of thy foes
Buena Vista's plain;
With maids and wives, at Vera Cruz,
Swell high the list of slain!
They paint upon the Southern skies
The blaze of burning domes, --
Their laurels dew with blood of babes!
Light up, light up thy homes!

Light up your homes, O fathers!
For those young hero bands,
Whose march is still through vanquished towns,
And over conquered lands!
Whose valor, wild, impetuous,
In all its fiery glow,
Pours onward like a lava-tide,
And sweeps away the foe!

For those whose dead brows glory crowns,
On crimson couches sleeping,
And for home faces wan with grief,
And fond eyes dim with weeping.
And for the soldier, poor, unknown,
Who battled, madly brave,
Beneath a stranger soil to share
A shallow, crowded grave.

Light up thy home, young mother!
Then gaze in pride and joy
Upon those fair and gentle girls,
That eagle-eyed young boy;
And clasp thy darling little one
Yet closer to thy breast,
And be thy kisses on its lips
In yearning love impressed.

In yon beleaguered city
Were homes as sweet as thine;
Where trembling mothers felt loved arms
In fear around them twine, --
The lad with brow of olive hue,
The babe like lily fair,
The maiden with her midnight eyes,
And wealth of raven hair.

The booming shot, the murderous shell,
Crashed through the crumbling walls,
And filled with agony and death
Those sacred household halls!
Then, bleeding, crushed, and blackened, lay
The sister by the brother,
And the torn infant gasped and writhed
On the bosom of the mother!

O sisters, if ye have no tears
For fearful tales like these,
If the banners of the victors veil
The victim's agonies,
If ye lose the babe's and mother's cry
In the noisy roll of drums,
If your hearts with martial pride throb high,
Light up, light up your homes!

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