Washington’s Army in December, 1776

              By ELLEN CLEMENTINE HOWARTH

 

They faltered not, though worn and spent,

That sad and weary band,

Upon their holy mission bent –

To free their native land

They faltered not, though snow and sleet

Was crimsoned with their bleeding feet;

Not laden they with food or tent,

But rifles old and banners rent

Was all their store as forth they went,

                      Those men of 76 !

 

                           O Assanpink ! O Delaware !

Ye could unfold a tale

                           Of silent suffering, mute despair,

By watchfires waning pale;

                             But ye are voiceless ! none may know

The tears that wet those beds of snow,

And sanctified each spot of earth

That bore the hope of freedom’s birth –

Shame, that no stone records their worth,

                         Those men of 76 !

 

The lofty monument and fane

Marks still the spot where Spartans bled;

And must we look for them in vain

Where holier blood was shed !

Shall strangers passing through the land

Find not one record of that Land?

Well may our hearts indignant swell,

When our own children cannot tell

The places where those heroes fell,

                          Those men of 76 !