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The Centerarian's Story Part 6 by Walt Whitman
And is this the ground Washington trod?
And these waters I listlessly daily cross, are these the waters he
As resolute in defeat, as other generals in their proudest
It is well--a lesson like that, always comes good;
I must copy the story, and send it eastward and westward;
I must preserve that look, as it beam'd on you, rivers of Brooklyn.
See! as the annual round returns, the phantoms return;
It is the 27th of August, and the British have landed;
The battle begins, and goes against us--behold! through the smoke,
The brigade of Virginia and Maryland have march'd forth to intercept
They are cut off--murderous artillery from the hills plays upon them;
Rank after rank falls, while over them silently droops the flag,
Baptized that day in many a young man's bloody wounds,
In death, defeat, and sisters', mothers' tears.
Ah, hills and slopes of Brooklyn! I perceive you are more valuable
than your owners supposed;
Ah, river! henceforth you will be illumin'd to me at sunrise with
something besides the sun.
Encampments new! in the midst of you stands an encampment very old;
Stands forever the camp of the dead brigade.