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

October 13

The Defeat of Burgoyne

By Rev. Wheeler Case (1735?–1791)

Saratoga, October 13, 1777

BURGOYNE is rushing on in quest of blood,

And Indians shout for victory through the wood,

He solemnly declares, unless we yield,

Horror and death await us in the field.

He sends his bloody flag from house to house;

The mountains travail, and bring forth a mouse.

While thus he threatens ruin to these states,

Behold! here comes the brave heroic Gates.

The gloom dispelled, the light doth now appear,

And shines through all the northern hemisphere;

Our troops collect, and marshal in array,

Complete in arms, their banners they display.

Burgoyne now views them all in arms complete,

Struck with a panic, orders a retreat.

The soldiers trembling, his commands obey,

And he, the most intrepid, leads the way:

Our brave commander then pursues with speed,

Soon overtakes; and numbers lie and bleed;

Our valiant troops inclose Burgoyne around,

And take the best advantage of the ground.

The British hero that appeared so prompt,

Is now enclosed by Yankees in a swamp.

The great Burgoyne is now overwhelmed with grief,

Nor has he any hope to obtain relief;

The rebel army he with scorn defied,

Have him encompassed round on every side.

Alas how great his grief, how ’cute his pain!

How great is his reproach, how great the stain!

Surprising strange! how singular his case!

By rebels close confined in such a place.

One thing especially that makes him mourn,

Great generals and lords that strut and spurn,

Are fond of having room enough to turn.

What seized his soul with horror and surprise,

He expects now soon to fall a sacrifice;

A sacrifice to liberty’s brave sons;

For blood of innocence and dying groans.

His sorrows rise; an overwhelming flood,

Conscience accused, and justice cried for blood.

Whole rivers of such blood could ne’er atone,

For all the horrid murders he had done.

Now thunder-struck, with these ill-boding fates,

Resigns himself and army up to Gates.