George Moses Horton

(1797 - 1884 / Northampton, North Carolina)

Clay’s Defeat Poem by George Moses Horton


'Tis the hope of the noble defeated;
The aim of the marksman is vain;
The wish of destruction completed,
The soldier eternally slain.

When winter succeeds to the summer,
The bird is too chilly to sing;
No music is play'd for the drummer,
No carol is heard on the wing.

The court of a nation forsaken,
An edifice stripp'd of its dome,
Its fame from her pinnacle shaken,
Like the sigh heaving downfall of Rome.

Fall'n, fall'n is the chief of the witty,
The prince of republican power;
The star-crown of Washington City
Descends his political tower.

The gold-plated seat is bespoken,
The brave of the west is before;
The bowl at the fountain is broken,
The music of fame is no more.

No longer a wonderful story
Is told for the brave whig to hear,
Whose sun leaves his circuit of glory,
Or sinks from the light of his sphere.

Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010

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