Lundy’s Lane by James Alexander Tucker

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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 logan drummond
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.

Source: Logan, John Daniel. Songs of the Makers of Canada and Other Homeland Lyrics.  Toronto: William Briggs, 1911.

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