Thursday, April 4, 2013

Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale (1776)

The breezes went steadily thro' the tall pines,
A saying " oh ! hu-ush !" a saying "oh ! hu-ush !"
As stilly stole by a bold legion of horse,
For Hale in the bush, for Hale in the bush.

"Keep still !" said the thrush as she nestled her young,
In a nest by the road; in a nest by the road.
"For the tyrants are near, and with them appear,
What bodes us no good, what bodes us no good."

The brave captain heard it, and thought of his home,
In a cot by the brook; in a cot by the brook
With mother and sister and memories dear,
He so gaily forsook; he so gaily forsook.

Cooling shades of the night were coming apace,
The tattoo had beat; the tattoo had beat.
The noble one sprang from his dark lurking place,
To make his retreat; to make his retreat.

He warily trod on the dry rustling leaves,
As he pass'd thro' the wood; as he pass'd thro' the wood;
And silently gain'd his rude launch on the shore,
As she play'd with the flood; as she play'd with the flood.

The guards of the camp, on that dark, dreary night,
Had a murderous will; had a murderous will.
They took him and bore him afar from the shore,
To a hut on the hill; to a hut on the hill.

No mother was there, nor a friend who could cheer,
In that little stone cell; in that little stone cell.
But he trusted in love, from his father above.
In his heart, all was well; in his heart, all was well

An ominous owl with his solemn base voice,
Sat moaning hard by; sat moaning hard by.
The tyrant's proud minions most gladly rejoice,
"For he must soon die; for he must soon die."

The brave fellow told them, no thing he restrain'd,
The cruel gen'ral; the cruel gen'ral.
His errand from camp, of the ends to be gain'd,
And said that was all; and said that was all.

They took him and bound him and bore him away,
Down the hill's grassy side; down the hill's grassy side.
'Twas there the base hirelings, in royal array,
His cause did deride; his cause did deride.

Five minutes were given, short moments, no more,
For him to repent; for him to repent;
He pray'd for his mother, he ask'd not another,
To Heaven he went; to Heaven he went.

The faith of a martyr, the tragedy shew'd,
As he trod the last stage; as he trod the last stage.
And Britons will shudder at gallant Hale's blood,
As his words do presage, as his words do presage.

"Thou pale king of terrors, thou life's gloomy foe,
Go frighten the slave, go frighten the slave;
Tell tyrants, to you, their allegiance they owe.
No fears for the brave; no fears for the brave."

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