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Welcome to the Giant Killers, the home of David's Call

SONG OF MARION'S MEN
1831

By William Cullen Bryant

Our hand is few but true and tried,
      Our leader frank and bold;
The British soldier trembles
      When Marion's name is told.
Our fortress is the good greenwood,
      Our tent the eypress-tree;
We know the forest round us,
      As seamen know the sea.
We know its walls of thorny vines,
      Its glades of reedy grass,
Its safe and silent islands
      Within the dark morass.

Woe to the English soldiery
      That little dread us near!
On them shall light at midnight
      A strange and sudden fear:
When, waking to their tents on fire,
      They grasp their arms in vain,
And they who stand to face us
      Are beat to earth again;
And they who fly in terror deem
      A mighty host behind,
And bear the tramp of thousands
      Upon the hollow wind.

Then sweet the hour that brings release
      From danger and from toil:
We talk the battle over,
      And share the battle's spoil.
The woodland rings with laugh and shout,
      As if a hunt were up,
And woodland flowers are gathered
      To crown the soldier's cup.
With merry songs we mock the wind
      That in the pin-top grieves,
And slumber long and sweetly
      On beds of oaken leaves.

Well knows the fair and friendly moon
      The hand that Marion leads-
The glitter of their rifles.
      The scampering of their steeds.
'Tis life to guide the fiery barb
      Across the moonlight plain;
'Tis life to feel the night-wind
      That lifts the tossing mane
A moment in the British camp-
      A moment-and away
Back to the pathless forest,
      Before the peep of day.

Grave men there are by broad Santee,
      Grave men with hoary hairs;
Their hearts are all with Marion,
      For marion are their prayers.
And lovely ladies greet our band
      With kindliest welcoming,
With smiles like those of summer,
      And tears like those of sping.
For them we wear these trusty arms,
      And lay them down no more
Till we have driven the Briton,
      Forever, from our shore.

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