(In imitation of Campbell’s “Hohenlinden”)
O’er Huron’s wave the orb of light
Sunk low in his diurnal flight,
And close behind the shades of night
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Spread out their sable canopy.
To Lundy’s Lane the foemen flew,
And thick array’d in hostile view,
E’er the resplendent arch withdrew
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡That high o’erarch’d Niagara.
But as the parting glance of day
Shed its last beams upon the spray
That crown’d the tumbling flood, the play
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Of battle hasten’d rapidly.
The bugle shrill the war-note spoke;
The maddening drum with furious stroke —
But louder, more appalling, broke
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡The thunders of th’ artillery.
Faint thro’ the war-cloud, dense and dun,
The moon with crimson’d crescent shone,
white gleam’d the battle’s lightenings on,
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡T’illume the awful scenery.
Fight on ye brave! but who shall know,
Or where to aim th’ uncertain blow,
Or whether bleeds a friend or foe,
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡To stain the wreaths of victory?
Ceased has the fight’s tremendous roar;
The cannon’s thunders peal no more;
But death’s dark harbinger hangs o’er
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡The battle’s utmost boundary.
Charge, charge, amain! the bugle sounds;
At once the clashing steel resounds;
And forward fierce the foeman bounds
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡To boldest deeds of chivalry.
Hard pant the combatants for breath,
While bloodier grows the blood stain’d heath,
And gloomier yet the work of death,
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Deep veil’d in night’s obscurity.
To glory rush, ye brave, rush on!
Seize, seize the laurel! lo! ’tis won
The vanquish’d yield — the work is done
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Huzza! the shout is victory.
Sunk is the beam of midnight low;
The fires of death have ceased to glow,
But morn a bloody field shall show,
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Along thy banks, Niagara!
His silent stand the watchman takes,
Or by his wounded comrade wakes,
Whilst the last groan of misery breaks
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Oft midst the dying soldiery.
Ne’er saw these fields so fierce a fight
Since first this flood, with rapid flight,
Majestic from his giant height
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Roll’d thro’ his rugged scenery.
And while his cloud-capt surge shall pour,
May his deep thunder-voice no more
Be mingled with the battle’s roar
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Along his steep declivity.
Flamborough West, July, 1816
Adam Hood Burwell published poems under the pen name Erieus2
Source: Burwell, Adam Hood. The Poems of Adam Hood Burwell, Pioneer Poet of Upper Canada. ed. by Dr. Carl F. Klinck. (Western Ontario History Nuggets no. 30, May 1963). London, Ont.: Lawson Memorial Library, The University of Western Ontario, 1963
This version of the poem appeared in The Scribbler (Montreal) I, p. 245-246, January 24, 1822
The original version was published in The Niagara Gleaner, date unknown, no copies of The Niagara Gleaner exist before 1818.