Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> Monody, On the Death of Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney >> Page 9

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Page 9

Poetry | 2009
Transcription 9 THE SIMMS REVIEW

Peace, smiling Peace, revisited the scene;
Each valley smiled,—and every hill was green!

Thou patriot sire! that shrunk not when thy land,
70 Was fiercely menaced by the invading band;
When pale confusion fill'd each quiv'ring eye,
And desolation, waved her torch on high;
Thou, 'midst the few, when all but life was lost,
And even Hope, by stern assurance crost,
75 Didst thou despair? Or did thy trembling arm
Convulsive, tell thy innate soul's alarm
Did one small feature of thy brow pourtray,
The eventful horrors of that glorious day,
When infant Freedom nursed in wars' embrace,
80 Bared the red steel, and battled for her race?

No! 'midst the few, the sacred, godlike few,
Who felt their cause was just, their faulchions true,
Joint Spirits of the brave, who, proudly free,
Hallow'd with blood, thy plain Thermopylt!
85 Our Chief appears; not his the soul to wait,
Till urged to conflict, by a laggard fate;
Not his to seek, whilst all around was dark
For other rays himself a glorious spark
Of that proud spirit, which thro' ages past,
90 The unshackled lot of myriads still has cast,
Descending on from well tried sire to son,
'Till freedom's battle o'er the world is won!

Thine arm was first in conflict, link'd with those
Brave spirits who have seen thy ev'ning close,
95 And glorious to the last who watch thy ray,
As slow descending from the glare of day,
Thy soul still tracks the bosom of the sky,
Like memory's hues that fade not, tho' they fly.


82 faulchions: Broad, short swords characterized by a convex edge curving sharply to
the point.