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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

May 17

On the Death of General Worth

By George W. Cutter (d. 1865)

  • General Worth had a fine record all through the Mexican war. Later he commanded in Texas, where he died at San Antonio on May 17, 1849.

  • NOW let the solemn minute gun

    Arouse the morning ray,

    And only with the setting sun

    In echoes die away.

    The muffled drum, the wailing fife,

    Ah! let them murmur low,

    O’er him who was their breath of life,

    The solemn notes of woe!

    At Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane,

    On Polaklaba’s field,

    Around him fell the crimson rain,

    The battle-thunder pealed;

    But proudly did the soldier gaze

    Upon his daring form,

    When charging o’er the cannon’s blaze

    Amid the sulphur storm.

    Upon the heights of Monterey

    Again his flag unrolled,

    And when the grape-shot rent away

    Its latest starry fold,

    His plumed cap above his head

    He waved upon the air,

    And cheered the gallant troops he led

    To glorious victory there.

    But ah! the dreadful seal is broke—

    In darkness walks abroad

    The pestilence, whose silent stroke

    Is like the doom of God!

    And the hero by its fell decree

    In death is sleeping now,

    With the laurel wreath of victory

    Still green upon his brow!