The Death of Lawrence

Evening has closed o'er the wave of the ocean,
Peace has returned to the sailor again,
Hushed is the din of the battle's commotion,
Nothing is heard but the roar of the main:
Far as the eager eye through the dark shade can spy,
Nothing is seen but the foam of the wave;
While the loud tempests sweep wild o'er the heaving deep,
Ploughing the breast of bold Lawrence's grave.

What is that steals on my listening ear?
O, 't is the accent of mourning and woe!
Grief, for the loss of a leader so dear, —
Grief, for the death of a generous foe.
Now bleeds each sailor's heart, — wounded by sorrow's dart,
Tears flow in torrents for Lawrence the bold;
O, we shall ne'er, they cry, see his fire-flashing eye,
When on his country's foes fiercely it rolled!

O, what a sight, on that glorious morning,
Glanced our bold ship o'er the billowy wave!
Freedom and valor its banner adorning,
Victory cheering the hearts of the brave.
Glittered the sailor's eye, throbbed his rough bosom high,
While the starred flag floated wide on the wind;
Bright glowed the hero's soul, — proudly his glance did roll, —
Fixed were his features, and nobly resigned.

See, on the distant main swiftly advancing,
Albion's sons spread their banner afar;
Light on the crest of the foamy wave dancing,
See, they unfurl the red ensign of war.
Marked you the hero's eye, — bright as the noon-tide sky,
Stern as the frown that the roused lion wears,
When, like the whirlwind's rage, fiercely the foes engaged, —
Mingling in battle, the cross and the stars.

Loud swelled the cannon's roar o'er the wide ocean,
Lashed by the prow, heaved the crimson-dyed foam;
Wild was the din of the battle's commotion,
While many a soul sought its long, latest home;
Bright glared the fatal flame, — death-winged the bullet came,
Full on our leader it darted its blow;
Then each tar heaved a sigh, — tears gushed from every eye, —
Lawrence is wounded, our hero is low.

Mark, from his breast how his life-blood is streaming;
Mark, how his eyeballs in agony roll;
Still through that mist valor's spirit is beaming,
Still his last words speak the fire of his soul:
" Rear up the Eagle high! point it unto the sky, —
There let it soar while the bloody fight raves,
There let its wings outspread, — flap o'er the mighty dead,
Till it shall plunge in the fathomless waves. "

Long shall his spirit illumine our stars,
Long as our flag on the tempest shall fly;
Long as our Eagle the thunderbolt bears,
It shall soar on its pinions and flash in its eye:
When on the stormy main venture our ships again,
Then shall his valor our bosoms inspire;
When we the broadsides pour, and war's dread thunders roar,
Lawrence shall lead like a pillar of fire.
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