Now grateful truce suspends the burning war

Now grateful truce suspends the burning war,
And groans and shouts promiscuous load the air;
When the tired Britons, where the smokes decay,
Quit their strong station and resign the day.
Slow files along the immeasurable train,
Thousands on thousands redden all the plain,
Furl their torn bandrols, all their plunder yield
And pile their muskets on the battle field.
Their wide auxiliar nations swell the crowd,
And the coopt navies from the neighboring flood
Repeat surrendering signals and obey
The landmen's fate on this concluding day.
Cornwallis first, their late all conquering lord,
Bears to the victor chief his conquer'd sword,
Presents the burnisht hilt and yields with pain
The gift of kings, here brandisht long in vain.
Then bow their hundred banners, trailing far
Their wearied wings from all the skirts of war.
Battalion'd infantry and squadron'd horse
Dash the silk tassel and the golden torse;
Flags from the forts and ensigns from the fleet
Roll in the dust and at Columbia's feet
Prostrate the pride of thrones; they firm the base
Of freedom's temple, while her arms they grace.
Here Albion's crimson Cross the soil o'erspreads,
Her Lion crouches and her Thistle fades;
Indignant Erin rues her trampled Lyre,
Brunswick's pale Steed forgets his foamy fire,
Proud Hessia's Castle lies in dust o'erthrown,
And venal Anspach quits her broken Crown.
Long trains of wheel'd artillery shade the shore,
Quench their blue matches and forget to roar;
Along the incumber'd plain, thick planted rise
High stacks of muskets glittering to the skies,
Numerous and vast. As when the toiling swains
Heap their whole harvest on the stubbly plains;
Gerb after gerb the bearded shock expands,
Shocks, ranged in rows, hill high the burden'd lands;
The joyous master numbers all the piles
And o'er his well earn'd crop complacent smiles;
Such growing heaps this iron harvest yield,
So tread the victors this their final field.
Triumphant Washington with brow serene,
Regards unmoved the exhilarating scene,
Weighs in his balanced thought the silent grief
That sinks the bosom of the fallen chief,
With all the joy that laurel crowns bestow,
A world reconquer'd and a vanquisht foe.
Thus thro extremes of life, in every state,
Shines the clear soul, beyond all fortune great,
While smaller minds, the dupes of fickle chance,
Slight woes o'erwhelm and sudden joys entrance.
So the full sun, thro all the changing sky,
Nor blasts nor overpowers the naked eye;
Tho transient splendors borrow'd from his light,
Glance on the mirror and destroy the sight.
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