Lundy’s Lane by James Alexander Tucker

tucker lundys lane

tucker lundys lane
Reinterment Services Held at Drummond Hill Cemetery, October 17, 1891. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

(Suggested by the burial, October 17th, 1891, of the remains of
some of the British forces who fought in this memorable battle.)

Three-quarters of a century
Have passed away like snow,
Since Drummond and Riall stood firm
And fought the furious foe;
When round our gallant fellows
The bullets hissed like rain,
And heaped with dead and dying men
The field of Lundys Lane.

The twilight of the summer eve
Was hovering in the sky,
When rose upon the listening air
The British battle-cry;
Then through the trembling heavens surged
The roar of giant strife,
For thrice two thousand armed men
Were battling there for life.
Yet still above that fearful din
Of battles mad career
Was heard from throbbing British throats
The British battle cheer.

All through that night till midnights hour
Was on Times trembling lip,
Our gallant fellows at the cup
Of bitter death did sip.
They cared not if each moment drained
The drops of faltering life,
They fought for home and native land,
For mother, child and wife.
Not theirs the fight for conquest,
Not theirs the fight for gold,
But theirs the fight for freedoms right
Their fathers gained of old.

Thus with stern hearts and steady hands
They marched into the fray,
And there our bloodiest battle
Was fought and won that day.
Bloodiest! aye, six thousand men
At dusk stood on the field:
Two thousand dead or dying fell
Before the day was sealed.
Yes, oer their grave let banners wave,
Let trumpets moan their funeral note;
God in His might looked down that night —
Looked, and the wrong he smote.

They fought for home and native land,
For mother, child and wife,
And recked not if each moment drained
The dregs of faltering life.
They fought for home and native land,
They held the foe at bay;
They fell, but though they fell, they stand
In honors ranks today.
They gave their blood to save the flag,
To keep the land from shame;
To God be praise for victory,
To them eternal fame!

And though we hope that neer again
Such strife may shake our land,
But pray these sister nations may
Give each a friendly hand;
Yet while one drop of British blood
Swells a Canadian vein,
Our hearts must thrill when we recall
The fight of Lundys Lane.

Source: Kevin McCabe, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines, Ont.: Blarney Stone Books, 1999.

Originally published: James Alexander Tucker. Poems. Toronto: Briggs, 1904.

Biographical notes on James Alexander Tucker by Arthur Stringer, published in Tucker’s Poems.

Click to see more poems about the Battle of Lundy’s Lane and other Poems of the War of 1812 in Niagara

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