The Unforgotten by Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson

unforgotten
Unveiling and dedication of the Soldier’s Monument in Queen Victoria Park, May 22, 1927. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Unforgotten, unforgotten are the stalwart and the brave,
Men who died for home and country, grand old Union Jack to save.
Though the war-drums beat is over, and the turmoil seems a dream,
Still the faces of our loved ones, ever in our memry gleam.

Trained not in their youth to warfare, yet they fought right valiantly,
Staunch at Vimy and in Flanders, routed enemies would flee;
Through the din of battles dauntless, for they knew their cause was right,
Though barrage was shrieking round them, on they struggled day and night.

Midst the gas and big guns roaring, quaking earth and bursting shell,
So heroic was their conduct, tongue can never fully tell;
Ringing through the coming ages, both in history and song,
Will be deeds of worth and valor in that fray so fierce and long.

In the air they were as fearless as the eagle in its flight,
Scouting in the zone of danger, flying through the clouds of night,
Proving to the Mother Country, Canada had offspring strong
Who were ready for their duty over there to right the wrong.

Now they rest in foreign regions, far away from native land,
Still in spirit they are with us, a revered and noble band;
Unforgotten will their names be, treasured in our hearts theyd dwell,
Sacrificial price of victry, as they in the combat fell.

Greater than our expectations was the prowess of our men,
Naught have we to give in tribute save a Cenotaph to them,
So we place it on Niagaras wonderful and far-famed shore,
In the park where singing waters swell in deep, triumphal roar.

There the flowers thrive and blossom, showered with the rivers spray,
Near the falling, rushing torrent, swiftly flowing there alway;
Where the silver birch and maple in the Spring are to be seen,
(Symbol of the resurrection) with new buds of living green.

“Written for the unveiling of the Cenotaph in memory of our beloved dead, and read on that occasion.”

Source: Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson. Poems That Appeal. Niagara Falls, Ont. : F.H. Leslie, Limited, Printers, 1928

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

Lundy’s Lane — 1814-1914 (July 25) by T. E. Moberly

moberly
Battle of Lundy’s Lane Centennial – Main & Lundy’s Lane (Ferry St.), July 25, 1914. Photo Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

moberly
In Lundys Lane the robins sing,
‡‡And blackbirds pipe their merry lay,
The sparrow flits on restless wing,
‡‡The air is sweet with new mown hay.

Oer the grassy mound by the old church wall
‡‡The summer breezes gently stray,
They stir the leaves of the maples tall,
‡‡And mingle with the sunbeams play.

Tis a scene of peace and beauty fair,
‡‡That greets the happy passer-by,
As he breathes the balmy summer air,
‡‡And gladly looks on earth and sky.

But oer this fair and peaceful scene
‡‡One hundred years have come and gone,
And where the grass grows rich and green
‡‡The dead lay thick with faces wan.

Up from the mighty rivers gorge
‡‡In serried ranks the foeman came,
The air grew murky as a forge,
‡‡With cannon smoke and musket flame.

Outnumbered nearly two to one,
‡‡The gallant Drummond stood at bay,
Undaunted he — and with him none —
‡‡Unworthy of that glorious day.

For loyal sons of loyal sires,
‡‡They fought for home and motherland;
No purer love the heart inspires
‡‡Than glowd within that patriot band.

Now hastning up the river bank,
‡‡Cheered on by Scott at Browns command,
The foemen form, and rank on rank,
‡‡A threatening army they expand.

The word is given — then, on they rush,
‡‡Mid cannon roar and musket flame,
Like avalanches fearful crush,
‡‡Ah! What can balk their deadly aim?

But hark! a rousing British cheer!
‡‡Cheer such as thrilld at Waterloo —
The cheer of men who know no fear
‡‡Save to be recreant or untrue. Continue reading “Lundy’s Lane — 1814-1914 (July 25) by T. E. Moberly”

The Battle of Lundy’s Lane by Caleb Stark

Written after a moonlight ramble on Drummond’s Hill, U.C., the scene of that bloody action, fought July 25, 1814, where New Hampshire valor shone conspicuously.

stark
The 11th U.S. Infantry, 1814, by H. Charles McBarron, Jr. The 11th was Composed of Men from Vermont and New Hampshire

In other days yon fatal hill,
      Glittered with arms and waved with plumes,
When the sad sunset on their steel,
      Flashed its last splendors; even’s glooms
Rang with the bugles’s martial breath
That called the brave to deeds of death.

Then the dismal cry of slaughter
      Broke on midnight’s slumbering hour;
And the parched ground drank blood like water,
      As beneath a deadly shower
Of musket and artillery,
With motto calm yet bold, “I’LL TRY,”
      The bristling ranks move on,
Mid deafening thunder, sulphurous flash,
And shouts, and groans, and forests’ crash,
Till hark!  the sharp, clear bayonet’s clash,
      Tells that the work is done.

There deeds of deathless praise proclaim,
How rolled War’s tide when RIPLEY’s name
      Swelled the wild shout of victory;
And dauntless Miller and McNeil
Led foremost, in the strife of steel,
      The flower of northern chivalry;
While Scott from British brows then tore
The laurels dyed in Gallic gore.

But these terrific scenes are past;
The peasants’ slumbers, the wild blast
      Alone shall break them,
And those proud bannered hosts are gone,
Where the shrill trumpet’s charging tone
      No more may wake them.
Time in his flight has swept away,
Each vestige of the battle fray,
Save that the traveller views around,
The shattered oak — the grass-grown mound
      That shrines a hero’s ashes!

Peace to the brave!  around their stone
Shall Freedom twine her rosy wreath,
And, though with moss of year’s o’ergrown,
Fame shall applaud their glorious death,
      Long as Niagara dashes!

Source: Charles James Fox, ed. The New Hampshire Book, Being Specimens of the Literature of the Granite State. Nashville: C.T. Gill, 1844.

Caleb Stark was born in Dumbarton, New Hampshire on November 21, 1804 and took up residence in his birthplace. Stark was a lawyer, historian, and member of the New Hampshire State Senate, and died in 1864.

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

sonnet
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 sonnet
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.

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