On the Erection of a Monument On the Battlefield of Lundy’s Lane by Edward W. Miller

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Monument to the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. Photo by Chantal Cameron, courtsesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Dear to a land is the name of its heroes,
They who have given their lives for her honor,
Who in the danger and turmoil of battle
Have fought and have died for the land of their fathers.
What is more worthy of lasting remembrance
Than the deeds of our heroes, whose patriot spirit
This day we are praising?  Let memory undying
Hold green in our minds the tale of their glory.
Tall be the monument raised to their mem’ry,
Let it be wreathed with the flowers of vict’ry;
Firm be it built as a symbol forever
Of Canada’s glory in years that have vanished.
For here where ye tread with your footsteps so eager,
Where rises the pillar so proud to the heavens,
Lay strewn with the dead who had died for their country.
Treble their number the foes that assailed them.
Rank over rank poured the enemy’s forces
Shot after shot belched forth from the cannon,
Thinning their numbers and strewing the meadow
With wounded and dying, whose groanings of anguish
And prayers for relief rose sad on the night air,
And mixed with the roar, dull-murmuring, distant,
Where Niagara rolls on her billows of water. Continue reading “On the Erection of a Monument On the Battlefield of Lundy’s Lane by Edward W. Miller”

Drummond: Indomitable Soldier by John Daniel Logan

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General Sir Gordon Drummond
FROM SAFFRON dawn that lit the morning sky
Until the moon passed, blanching at the sight
Of fearful slaughter crying for respite,
Thy faithful forces heard thy battle cry
Above the stubborn, fierce, tumultuous sway
Of weltering lines. Then thy undaunted heart
Sustained thy heroes in their awful part
And glorified the sanguinary fray.

To us yon battleground is as a fane,
A holy place, a sacrificial spot
To thee and thy Canadian host who wrought
Immortal warrior deeds at Lundy’s Lane;
            And thine own glory, Drummond, gleameth far,
            Undimmed and constant as the purest star.

Sonnet Read at the Unveiling of the Lundy’s Lane Monument, 25th July, 1895 by William Kirby

Unveiling of the Battle of Lundy's Lane Monument, 1895
Unveiling of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane Monument, 1895 Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

STAND FAST! STAND FAST! STAND FAST!” A mighty cry
Rang from the British line at Lundys Lane.
CLOSE UP YOUR RANKS! STAND FAST! the foes again
Swarm up the hill, where our brave colours fly,
And Drummond shouts: To conquer or to die.”
Mid roar of guns, that rend the heavens in twain,
Our flashing bayonets back upon the plain
Hurl down their columns, heaps on heaps they lie;
And Canada, like Greece at Marathon,
Stands victor on the field of freedom won.
This Pillar fair, of sculptured stone, will show
Forever, in the light of glory, how
England and Canada stood fast that night
At Lundys Lane, and conquered for the right.

Source: An Account of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, Fought in 1814, Between the British and American Armies From the Best and Most Authorized Sources.   Niagara Falls: Niagara Publishers, 1947.

The Hero of Bridgewater by Charles L.S. Jones

hero bridgewater General Winfield Scott at the Time of the War of 1812
General Winfield Scott at the Time of the War of 1812

Seize, O seize the sounding Lyre,
With its quivering string!
Strike the chords, in ecstasy,
Whilst loud the valleys ring!
Sing the Chief, who, gloriously,
From England’s veteran band,
Pluck’d the wreaths of Victory,
To grace his native land!

Where Bridgewater’s war-fam’d stream
Saw the foemen reel,
Thrice repuls’d, with burnish’d gleam
Of bayonet, knife, and steel;
And its crimson’d waters run
Red with gurgling flow,
As Albion’s gathering hosts his arm,
His mighty arm, laid low.

Strike the sounding string of fame,
O Lyre! Beat loud, ye drums!
Ye clarion blasts exalt his name!
Behold the hero comes!
I see Columbia, joyously,
Her palmy circlet throw
Around his high victorious brow
Who laid her foemen low!

Take him Fame! For thine he is!
On silvery columns, rear
The name of Scott, whence envious Time
Shall ne’er its honors tear!
And thou, O, Albion, quake with dread!
Ye veterans shrink, the while,
Whene’er his glorious name shall sound
To shake your sea girt isle!

Source: Charles L. S. Jones,  American Lyrics; Comprising The Discovery, a Poem; Sapphic, Pindaric and Common Odes; Songs and Tales of American and Patriotic Subjects, and also Imitations From the Greek, Latin, French, and Spanish. Mobile: Pollard & Dade, 1834

Lines Written in Drummond Hill Cemetery by Ada Elizabeth Fuller

(The site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane in 1814)

Gravestone of Robert Randall,  Drummond Hill Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Gravestone of Robert Randall, Drummond Hill Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

The brooding voice of spring is in the air,
The mighty winds are hushed, are very still;
Within a burial ground I wind my way 
A sunny place upon a sunny hill.

I fain would read a legend here and there,
But Time has passed with his erasing hand;
And, on the battered stones that head these graves,
The half-intelligible letters stand.

The peace of God, which no man understands,
Beams kindly down upon the greening sod,
And, underneath, where sacred ashes lie
Of those whove gone before to meet their God.

Full many an unknown spirit lies at peace
With heart against the earths warm heart close-pressed:
Their dust, as ashes of the rose that lie,
Its perfume gone, fallen to earths soft breast.

The summer sky is kind to all alike,
And over all the skies are fair and clear;
And, in the solemn stillness of this hour,
It seems as if I were intruding here.

But no resentment these poor ashes feel,
For God has called their souls from here below;
And in this hour He speaks to my lone soul —
He seems to call and I could wish twere so.

But God has measured out my length of days,
And His sweet will is all in all to me.
O Father, guide my thoughts, my life, my soul,
To thy great glory, till Thou callest me!

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

Originally published: Ada Elizabeth Fuller. Sunshine and Shadow. Niagara Falls, 1919.