On the Capture of General Lee

The deed perfidious, and the Hero's fate,
In tender strains, celestial Muse! relate.
The latent foe to friendship makes pretence
The name assumes without the sacred sense!
He, with a rapture well dissembl'd, press'd
The hero's hand, and fraudful, thus address'd.

" O friend belov'd! may heaven its aid afford,
And spread yon troops beneath thy conquering sword!
Grant to America's united prayer
A glorious conquest on the field of war.
But thou indulgent to my warm request
Vouchsafe thy presence as my honour'd guest:
From martial cares a space unbend thy soul
In social banquet, and the sprightly bowl. "
Thus spoke the foe; and warlike Lee reply'd,
" Ill fits it me, who such an army guide;
To whom his conduct each brave soldier owes
To waste an hour in banquets or repose:
This day important, with loud voice demands
Our wisest Counsels, and our bravest hands. "
Thus having said he heav'd a boding sigh.
The hour approach'd that damps Columbia's Joy.
Inform'd, conducted, by the treach'rous friend
With winged speed the adverse train attend
Ascend the Dome, and seize with frantic air
The self surrender'd glorious prize of war!
On sixty coursers, swifter than the wind
They fly, and reach the British camp assign'd.
Arriv'd, what transport touch'd their leader's breast!
Who thus deriding, the brave Chief address'd.
" Say, art thou he, beneath whose vengeful hands
Our best of heroes grasp'd in death the sands?
One fierce regard of thine indignant eye
Turn'd Brittain pale, and made her armies fly;
But Oh! how chang'd! a prisoner in our arms
Till martial honour, dreadful in her charms,
Shall grace Britannia at her sons' return,
And widow'd thousands in our triumphs mourn. "
While thus he spoke, the hero of renown
Survey'd the boaster with a gloomy frown
And stern reply'd. " Oh arrogrance of tongue!
And wild ambition, ever prone to wrong!
Believ'st thou Chief, that armies such as thine
Can stretch in dust that heaven-defended line?
In vain allies may swarm from distant lands
And demons aid in formidable bands.
Great as thou art, thou shun'st the field of fame
Disgrace to Brittain, and the British name!
When offer'd combat by the noble foe,
(Foe to mis-rule), why did thy sword forgo
The easy conquest of the rebel-land?
Perhaps too easy for thy martial hand.
What various causes to the field invite!
For plunder you , and we for freedom fight:
Her cause divine with generous ardor fires,
And every bosom glows as she inspires!
Already, thousands of your troops are fled
To the drear mansions of the silent dead:
Columbia too, beholds with streaming eyes
Her heroes fall — 'tis freedom's sacrifice!
So wills the Power who with convulsive storms
Shakes impious realms, and nature's face deforms.
Yet those brave troops innum'rous as the sands
One soul inspires, one General Chief commands
Find in your train of boasted heroes, one
To match the praise of Godlike Washington.
Thrice happy Chief! in whom the virtues join,
And heaven-taught prudence speaks the man divine! "

He ceas'd. Amazement struck the warrior-train,
And doubt of conquest, on the hostile plain.
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