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Poems of American Patriotism by Brander Matthews

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The book, Poems of American Patriotism, is from the Renville County Historical Society’s collection. The book is from Renville County District # 117 which was located in Kingman Township in Section 18.

Excerpt from the book Pg 21 – 24: Ticonderoga

TICONDEROGA by V.B. Wilson

May 10, 1775: After the new of Concord fight, a volunteer expedition from Vermont and Connecticut, under Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, seized Ticonderoga and Crown Point, whose military stores were of great service. From its chime of bells, the French call Ticonderoga ‘Carillon.’

The cold, gray light of the dawning
     On old Carillon falls,
And dim in the mist of the morning
     Stand the grim old fortress walls.
No sound disturbs the stillness
     Save the cataract’s mellow roar,
Silent as death is the fortress,
     Silent the misty shore.

But up from the wakening waters
     Comes the cool, fresh morning breeze,
Lifting the banner of Britain,
     And whispering to the trees
Of the swift gliding boats on the waters
     That are nearing the fog-shrouded land,
With the old Green Mountain Lion
     And his daring patriot band.

But the sentinel at the postern,
     Heard not the whisper low;
He is dreaming of the banks of the Shannon
     As he walks on his beat to and fro,
Of the starry eye in Green Erin
     That were dim when he marched away,
And a tear down his bronzed cheek courses,
     ‘T is the first for many a day.

A sound breaks the misty stillness,
     And quickly he glances around;
Through the mist, forms like towering giants
     Seem rising out of the ground;
A challenge, the firelock flashes,
     A sword cleaves the quivering air,
And the sentry lies dead by the postern,
     Blood staining his bright yellow hair.

Then, with a shout that awakens
     All the echoes of hillside and glen,
Through the low, frowning gate of the fortress,
     Sword in hand, rush the Green Mountain men.
The scarce wakened troops of the garrison
     Yield up their trust pale with fear;
And down comes the bright British banner,
     And out rings a Green Mountain Cheer.

Flushed with pride, the whole eastern heavens
     With crimson and gold are ablaze;
And up springs the sun in his splendor
     And flings down his arrowy rays,
Bathing in sunlight the fortress,
     Turning to gold the grim walls,
While louder and clearer and higher
     Rings the song of the waterfalls.
Since the taking of Ticonderoga,
     A century has rolled away;
But with pride the nation remember
     That glorious morning in May.

And the cataract’s silvery music
     Forever the story tells,
Of the capture of Old Carillon,
     The chime of the silver bells.