Cross of BurgundyRepublic of MexicoCoahuila y Texas
Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas
Mexican Federalist FlagOld Come and Take ItThe Lone Star

Presents

Texian Songs, Hymns and Poetry

Colonial Times pre-1836 | Patriotic and Rally | The Lone Star Republic
The Alamo
Goliad and San Jacinto | Memorials & Tribute


From Colonial Times Pre-1836


 

Taovayo-Wichita Burial Eulogy

We are children of the earth, and as we go on a journey it means that we are like children crawling upon our mother, and as we exist upon the earth we are kept alive by her breath, the wind, and at the end of our time we are put in the ground in the bosom of our mother.

Now you have been made to contain all things, to produce all things, and for us to travel over.  Also we have been told to take care of everything which has come to your bosom, and we have been told that in your body everything should be buried.  I now come to bury this man.

From G.A. Dorsey, Mythology of the Wichita, 1904


An unidentified Spanish soldier with Alonso De León upon discovering remains of the massacre and ruins of Fort St. Louis on Garcitas Creek in 1689, the remains of an abortive attempt of La Salle and the French to establish a colony on the Texas coast wrote what Carlos Castañeda in Our Catholic Heritage in Texas, 1936  called the first elegy written on Texas soil.   He translated the first stanza as

Sad and fateful site.
Where only solitude doth reign.
Reduced to this sorry plight.
Thy settlers efforts all proved vain.

Israel Cavazos wrote in an introduction to Historia de Nuevo Leon, con noticias sobre Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Texas y Nuevo Mexico, escrita en el siglo XVII por el Cap. Alonso de Leon, Juan Bautista Chapa y el Gral. Fernando Sanchez de Zamora that the poet might be Juan Bautista Chapa, who went with de León's troop to Fort St. Louis. Chapa was a literate man who was a secretary for the Monterrey Ayuntamiento in the late seventeenth century.  Robert Weddle in Wilderness Manhunt, 1973 presented his English translation of the complete elegy.

Sitio funesto y triste
donde la lobreguez sola te asiste;
porque la triste suerte
dio a tus habitadores fiera muerte.

Aquí sólo contemplo
que eres fatalidad y triste ejemplo
de la inconstante vida;
pues el enemigo fiero y homicida,
tan cruel y inhumano,
descargó su crueldad con terca mano
sobre tanto inocente,
no perdonando al niño más reciente.

¡Oh, francesas hermosas
que pisabais de estos prados frescas rosas;
y con manos de nieve
tocabais blanco lirio en campo breve;
y en dibujo bello
a damas griegas echabais el sello;
porque vuestros marfiles
adornaban la costura con perfiles;
como así difuntas
os miran estas selvas todas juntas,
que no en balde ajadas
se ven por vuestra muerte, y tan trilladas!

Y tú, cadáver frío,
que en un tiempo mostraste tanto brío,
y ahora de animales
comida, según muestran tus señales,
tierno te contemplo,
y eres de infelicidad un vivo ejemplo.
Gozas de eterna gloria,
pues fuiste de esta vida transitoria
a celestial morada;
yendo con tanta herida traspasada.
Ruégale a Dios eterno
nos libre de las penas del infierno.
Contributed by Arturo Lozano Montfort
(Monterrey, Mexico)

Sad and fateful site
Where prevails the dark of night
Because misfortune's whim
Brought thy people death so grim,
Here alone I contemplate
Thou epitome of fate,
Of the inconstancy of life;
Since in the fierceness of the strife
The cruel enemy pressed
His heartless hand upon thy breast,
Upon thy innocence so mild,
Sparing not the smallest child.

O beautiful French maiden fair
Who pressed sweet roses to your hair
And with thy snow-white hand
Briefly touched the lily of the land
And with thy art perfection brought
Greek ladies now in profile wrought;
Thy needlework made bright
The miseries of thy plight;
And now so cold, so dead,
These woods look down upon thy head;
But thou witherest not in vain,
Art seen in death, but not in pain.

And thou, cadaver, oh, so cold,
Who for a time did make so bold
And now consumed by wildest beasts
Which upon thee made their feasts,
Tearfully I behold thee right;
Thou art example bright,
For everlasting glory won,
Transient from this life hast gone
For celestial dwelling bound
Though pierced with such a wound.
Pray thee to the God eternal,
Spare us from the hell infernal.
Translation by Robert Weddle
in Wilderness Manhunt


From L' Héroïne Du Texas, 1819, a fictionalized narrative set in the abortive French colony of Napoleonic French exiles on the Trinity River.

The Song of Texas

Frenchmen, if a fate unruly
Drove us from our native land,
We shall still revere her truly,
Though forgot on every hand.
Only Honor lies behind us.---
The laurel grows in Champ d'Asile.

Recollectons here surround us,
We shall never more complain;
Warrior's joys that here are round us
Sweeter are than fortune's gain.
We shall sing of our past glories
At the oxen's earth-clogged heel;
Music to us are those stories---
The laurel grows in Champ d'Asile.

Glory has her names to cherish,
Echoing on every hand;
Soldiers, lest their fame should perish,
Let them reign through Texas Land.
For our God-like ones we're praying,
Servile words our lips would seal;
In other lands they will be saying---
The laurel grows in Champ d'Asile.

 


From Noah Smithwick's   The Evolution of a State

"....when we were all assembled and ready to begin business [of dancing] it was found that Mose, the only fiddler around [a servant of Jesse Thompson], had failed to come on time, so we called in an old darky belonging to Colonel Zeno Phillips, who performed on a clevis as an accompaniment to his singing, while another negro scraped on a cotton hoe with a case knife. The favorite chorus was:

O git up gals in de mawnin'
O git up gals in de mawnin'
O git up gals in de mawnin'
Jes at de break ob day.

at the conclusion of which the performer gave an extra blow to the clevis while the dancers responded with a series of dexterous rat-tat-tats with heel and toe." 

 


In 1833-34, John Beales made his most serious attempt to fulfill one of his empresario colonization contracts with the Mexican government by bring a mixture of mostly European- and Mexican-born colonists on La Mora creek, not far from the Rio Grande River.   Among the group was Eduard Ludecus, a German, who published his experience in Leipzig in 1837 in Reise durch die Mexikanischen Provinzen Tumalipas, Cohahuila, und Texas im Jahre 1834.  The following poem was written by Ludecus who was elected Syndico of the abortive Villa de Dolores after leaving the effort.   

Farewell, you huts, you dreary holes,
You half-rotten trees, farewell!
Eduardo will wander about you no more,
Eduardo tells you a joyous farewell.
You pastures, which are burned,
You yellow instead of green maize
Which I planted and which died so fast,
Farewell! you snakes and you scorpions,
Tarantulas, lizards, ticks, mosquitoes,
You stickly nopal, you thornbushes;
To the ocean I go joyfully down,
Eduardo goes and never will return.

All you places of my hot hunger,
You empty pots of repulsive mush;
Play once more your happy games,
Rabbits in the often passed-through bush;
You buffalo may now again peacefully range
There, where the desert quickly let us die of thirst;
With great joy I entered you, Savannas
And with greater now depart.

Farewell, Ludecus Street, you houseless street,
Likely never on you will a castle be seen,
Unless an Indian with copper-red nose
Builds a wigwam there of withered twigs.
Into the prairie I must now go again,
I pull myself away by my own hair.
Farewell, Dolores, now upon Don Lodrigos will
The whip already crack, and his oxen roar.

 


Susanna Dougharty was born in Indiana in 1804 and married William O'Docharty who was surveyor of the McMullen-McGloin colony.  William was the first alcalde of San Patricio Municipality in 1834.  Susanna is known for her loyalty to the Centralist cause when the the Texas revolution broke.  An annual fest between San Patricio colonists and residents of Matamoros hosted by her and other colonists was known as El Lugar del Banquete.  After the battle of San Jacinto and several other families moved to Matamoros, but returned to San Patricio after statehood under protection of Gen. Zachary Taylor's army.  She was a stanch Catholic, an active and remarkable community leader in the cause of education, culture and law and order in the region both before and after Texas independence.  Her sons became lawyers and judges in Nueces and San Patricio counties.  She died in 1874 and the family, including an infant who was first buried in Matamoros, lie in the Old Cemetery on the Hill in San Patricio.

Old Cemetery on the Hill---Epitaph
by Susanna O'Docharty

Here I lie beside my own-
A hundred springs have come and gone
Since first I lay upon this lonely hill.
William and I came from Ireland to America,
To New York, to Kentucky, then to Texas.
We heard of land given for the coming;
So we pledged allegiance to Mexico and became her subjects.

The Province of Texas was a wilderness
Untouched except by native tribes.
Near us were the Lipans and the Karankawas,
But when the full moon shimmered the river,
The Comanches would come down from the northwest
To raid and ravage the colonies.

On moonlight nights we dared not stray far from our cabins.
We spent five years in our rude picket homes
Made of willow poles driven into the ground.
The earthen floor was swept and sprinkled every day.
Its palmetto roof rustled in the wind.
While William surveyed, I planted and tended a garden
And taught my children and others too.

Our days were made long by waiting,
Waiting for the land commissioner;
For only he could parcel out the land.
Wild game could be had for the shooting;
Deer fell before the rifle's whi'm and boom.
Turkey, dove, and quail roasted over glowing coals.

We built a picket church and thanked God
For this lovely, lonely, cruel land that we must tame
With axe and plow, then sow to make it bear.
The Mexicans and the Irish were friends.
Did we not meet the alcalde and the merchants of Matamoros
In 1832 and sing and dance and feast beside a creek
Still named Banquete because we had a banquet there?
We had no thought of independence for Texas,
(Though all the Irish did not think as we did.)

I said to William, "We are right, I think that we are right
To stand by the Republic of Mexico
Until her birth pangs are over."
All through the war our loyalty was with Mexico;
After the Battle of San Jacinto,
We, with the children, struck out for Matamoros in ox cart.
My new-born child died in Matamoros;
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh,
Lies buried in the churchyard there.

The land called, and we returned.
In Texas there is always the call of the land!
I lived to see my four sons admitted to the bar,
But consumption took two of them and my daughter Susan.

And now I lie with them upon this hill
Mingling with Texas earth as seasons come and go.
Chilling northers bend grasses almost to the ground;
Low-hung clouds are misty blankets
Dropping days of rain upon the earth.
Then wild flowers make sweet the air in spring;

At dawn birds chirp and trill as if to wake us,
But we lie immutable, insensible to summer heat and winter cold
The villa we so proudly named San Patricio de Hibernia
Has almost been erased, its people gone,
While we lie here a segment of a forgotten colony.

From The Forgotten Colony: San Patricio de Hibernia
by Rachel Bluntzer Hébert

 


 Patriotic and Rally

The following verses were written by N. T. Byars, of Washington, Texas, in 1835, upon the occasion of the receipt of a threatening proclamation from Santa Anna, addressed to the people of Texas. The declaration of Texas independence was written and signed in the house of N. T. Byars.

Boys, rub your steels and pick your flints,
Methinks I hear some friendly hints
That we from Texas shall be driven
Our lands to Spanish soldiers given.

To arms---to arms---to arms!
Then Santa Anna soon shall know
Where all his martial law shall go.
It shall not in the Sabine flow,

Nor line the banks of the Colorado.
To arms---to arms---to arms!
Instead of that he shall take his stand
Beyond the banks of the Rio Grande

His martial law we will put down
We'll live at home and live in town.
Huzza---huzza---huzza!

 


From The History of Texas
by David B. Edward--Gonzales 1836

Freedom's the gem I do adore,
I found her on Columbia's shore
I worshiped her with love divine,
And swore she'd evermore be mine.

Although I thus in raptures burn,
I'm not of common lovers' turn;
But wish that millions of the brave,
Could boast of favors they receive.

And, what is very strange to know,
She is no coquette with her beau;
But every day does joys impart,
And every night keeps light his heart!

 


Arm for the Southern Land
by Mirabeau Lamar

Arm for your injured land;
Where will you find a braver?
Low lay the tyrant hand
Uplifted to enslave her.

Each hero draws
In freedom's cause,
And meets the foe with bravery;
The servile race Will turn their face,
And safety seek in slavery.

Chains for the dastard slave:
Recreant limbs should wear them.
But blessings on the brave
Whose valor will not bear them.

Charge, charge my braves on Cos,
And let no feuds divide you;
Behold the tyrant toss
His banner to deride you.

The foe should feel
Proud freemen's steel,
For freemen's rights contending;
Where e'er they die,
There let them lie,
To dust in shame descending.

Thus may each traitor fall,
Who dare as foe invade us;
Eternal fame to all
Who shall in battle aid us.    Z.

A revision of an earlier Lamar
poem adapted to the Mexican
Centralist threat (The Texas Republican
October 10, 1835)

 


The Texan's Song of Liberty
By William Barton 1836
(for whom Barton's Creek and Springs in Austin is named)

WHEN the locusts of tyranny darkened our land,
And our friends were reduced to a small Spartan band,
When the Alamo reeked with the blood of the brave,
And Mexican faith slept in Goliad's grave;
When our star that had risen so beauteously bright,
Seemed destined to set in thick darkness and night;
'Twas then our proud leader addressed his brave men,
And the Prairies of Texas re-ecboed-Amen.

On, on to the conflict, ye Texians brave,
March forward to victory or down to the grave
Let your swords be unsheathed in Liberty's cause,
And your bosoms be bared in defense of your laws
Let your watchword be Fannin, in treachery slain
And Alamo's sons, whose bones whiten the plain
For your friends and your homes let your rifle be aimed,
For your country that's bleeding, exhausted, and maimed:
Go, show to the world that our handful of braves
Can never be conquered by myriads of slaves

'Twas said, and the single-starred banner waved high
O'er the beads of our hero, whose deep slogan cry
Made the cravens of Mexico tremble and cower,
While our bugles rang forth, "Will you come to the bower?"

 


Texan Hymn
By J. C. Parmenter

ARISE, arise, brave Texians, awake to liberty:
To Mexican oppressors no longer bend the knee;
But hasten to the combat, with freedom's flag unfurled,
That the glorious deeds of Texas may echo through the world.
For we are determined to die or to be free,
And Texas triumphant our watchword shall be.

The bugle sounds to battle, war desolates our land,
Proud Mexico's vile minions advance upon our band;
But though the blood of Texians should crimson every plain
The rights that God has given us, forever we'll maintain.
Tho' justice long has slumbered, refreshed, she'll soon awake,
The tyrant that invades us, at her stern voice shall quake;

Before the dread tribunal his haughty pride shall bend,
With honor for our bulwark, in vain shall he contend.
Our foe the lonely covert seeks, unseen to strike the blow,
He loves defenseless murder, and tears of grief and woe;
He burns our homes and temples for his infernal glee,
But o'er their smoking ruins we'll fight for liberty.

We'll never trust his honor, assassin he is bred.
Brave Fannin and his warriors thus found a gory bed.
And Travis with his heroes on San Antonio height,
Before the foeman legions fell in unequal fight.
The blessed light of freedom on Texas shall descend,
And despotism's darkness in lustrous day shall end;

The galling chains of bondage,
Her sons shall bind no more,
Or we will fall unconquered upon the Sabine's shore.

Houston 1838

 


Up! Men of Texas
(From the Houston Telegraph, 1842)

YE men of Texas, can you see
Yon swarthy foeman coming on,
And know that God has made you free,
By San Jacinto's battle won?
Can you look on with careless eye,
Regardless of your sacred right
Or strive a shameful peace to buy?
Up! men of Texas, to the fight.

Oh, bitter shame and deep disgrace
Shall Texas' star e'er sink so low,
That you should fear such foes to face,
Forgetful of the Alamo?
Or offer, coward like, to pay
Five millions for your conquered right?
Rouse-rouse your hearts without delay
Up! men of Texas, to the fight.

Ye strove before, in honored time,
And well your rifles told the tale:
Will Texans now yield up their clime,
Or let their noble courage fail?
Remember well the Alamo,
And let the name your souls unite,
To deal destruction on the foe
Up! men of Texas, to the fight.

Tell Mexico's degraded sons,
Their bloody debt shall yet be paid,
For Fannin and his martyred ones,
Dire vengeance stands too long delayed.
The blood-stained soil of Goliad
Still rises darkling on your sight,
And shows the treacherous fate they had
Up! men of Texas, to the fight.

And think ye others will not lend,
In such a case, a helping hand?
Will relatives forget the end
Of those brave men-the Georgia band?
Will Shackleford forget his boy?
Will not Duval come with delight?
Lo---thousands hail the shout with joy---
Up! men of Texas, to the fight.

The "dark and bloody ground " has sons
To whom the name of Crockett 's dear.
The western hunters, with their guns,
Will gladly seek for glory here,
The chivalry of distant lands
Will aid the struggle for your right.
And joyful front these savage bands,
Up! men of Texas, to the fight.

Arouse, arouse, your flag's unfurled,
Seek victory or win your graves.
Show proudly forth to all the world
That Texians can ne'er be slaves.
Oh let the memory of the past
To noble deeds your souls incite;
Be firm---be valiant to the last---
Up! men of Texas, to the fight.

 


Texan Song of Liberty
By C. D. Stuart

THE storm of the battle no longer is o'er us,
Freedom to Texas with glory descends;
The flag of our triumph waves brightly before us,
And conquest her splendor to liberty lends.

Huzza! from our limbs the last fetter has crumbled,
And Mexico's pride in the dust has been humbled.
A shout from the banks of Jacinto's bright waters
Goes up with the roar of the storm and the blast:
The voice of her sons and the sons of her daughters
O'er tyranny's chains that are riven at last.

Huzza! nevermore will our Lone Star surrender,
While a true Texan heart is left to defend her.
The heroes who lie on the red field of battle
Speak loud thro' their blood, and the triumph proclaim,
And their slumber, more potent than cannons' fierce rattle,
Bids Texas remember her dead and her fame.

Their silence is tongued with, Huzza! for the river
Whence backward the foeman was driven forever!
And lo! from Bexar's stained turf is awaking
A sound from the bones of the brave who were slain,
A sound like the voice of the thunder peal breaking,
Defying the Tyrant to trample again

Where Mexico's banner, all trailing and gory,
But marks the bright pathway of Texas to glory.
Then bright be the star and undimmed be its splendor,
That links her free name to the love of the world,
And long as our spirit is left to defend her,
Let freedom's broad banner be nobly unfurled:

While the lips of her brave, and her beautiful, thunder,
No tyrant shall trample our liberty under.

Galveston 1844

 


Leave It! Ah No---The Land is Our Own
By Mrs. Mary G. Young
(From Allan's Lone Star Ballads)

LEAVE it! ah no---the land is our own,
Tho' the flag that we love is now furled,
A Texan must roam o'er his own prairie plains,
Or find rest in the far spirit world.
Oh the Lone Star State our home shall be
While its waters still roll to the Mexican Sea.

Where shall so blue a sky ever be found,
As the heavens that bend o'er us here?
Or when do flowers bloom so fragrant and sweet
The wayfaring wanderer to cheer?

Others may seek South American shores
Orizaba and fair Monterey;
But never, because she be burdened with woes,
Shall our feet from our own loved State stray.

Then here's to our State---our own dear State,
Right or wrong---enslaved or free;
In poverty, wealth, enthroned or disowned,
Our mother our queen shall be.

 


 The Lone Star

The Lone Star of Texas

BLACK was the night that brooded o'er the land,
Sombre the clouds that walked athwart the sky,
Chilly the winds that whistled o'er the plain;
But stout the hearts that beat unitedly.

That night was Despotism's darkest hour,---
Those clouds and winds, the foes which gathered near;
Stout hearts might well, dismayed in terror, cower;
But those were Texan hearts that knew no fear.

See---just above the horizon's farthest edge
A lone star rises in the gloomy night;
Dimly, and tremblingly, its rays are seen
Shining through cloud-rifts, or concealed from sight;

Faintly it glimmers o'er the Alamo---
Redly it gleams above Jacinto's field,---
Higher it rises---now, brave hearts, rejoice--
'Tis fixed in beauty on Heaven's azure shield.

Lovers of liberty,---where'er ye dwell!
Foes of oppression,---be ye far or near!
Hearts that with sympathy for freemen swell!
Ye who the name of Washington revere!

Behold that star!---the peer of all around,
Blazing from out united stars 'tis seen
A "lone star" free,---now free amid the free,
Unchanged, undimmed, unclouded, and serene.

Original source unknown
From D.W.C. Baker's Texas Scrapbook.

 


The Texas Soldier's
Address to His Flag

STAR of my country, 'tis to thee
The soldier turns his dying eyes,
Still his expiring prayer shall be,
That long thy folds may proudly rise
Waving victorious o'er the plain
Where he may never fight again.

Thou single star---no galaxy
Art thou; no kindred glittering band;
Yet not the less thy light we see
Illumining our much loved land.
Like the sun lovely---Oh how bright
Oh, mays't thou never fade in night.

Star of the unchained and the free,
We stand as ever we will stand
Around thy banner---and while we
Are left to battle for our land,
Our life-blood shall be freely given
In strife---for victory---or heaven.

Star of the true---a single tie
Unites our hearts, that gaze on thee,
A single prayer to One on high
Is offered when we bend the knee:
We humbly ask prosperity
For this dear land o'er-shone by thee.

Star that kind heaven itself has blest
With victory, when our cause seemed cast
For sure destruction-o'er the west,
The east, the south---where'er a blast
Of free wind blows---thou yet shalt wave,
Protector of the free and brave.

Lead on in front, thou gallant star!
We'll follow thee e'en to the last,
And crush invaders who bring war
Amidst our home;---or fierce and fast
We'll show them that the swords we wield
Are red from San Jacinto's field.

Origin unknown.
From D.W.C Baker's Texas Scrap-book

 


The Lone Star of Texas
G. G. Simcox 1851

WHEN the Lone Star of Texas arose in the West,
Pale and dimly it shone from its orbit on high,
For the Mexican Eagle had flown from his nest,
And his broad dusky wings overshadowed the sky.

As the hordes of Sant' Anna rushed on to the fight
And up to the Heavens their battle-cry pealed,
Oh! paler that star grew, I ween, for its light
Was eclipsed by the glitter of helmet and shield.

On the spot where still struggled a small Spartan band,
Who had sworn for their country to conquer or die,
Where the dark frowning walls of the Alamo stand,
The "Lone Star," still shone from its home in the sky.

How that band bravely stood through the perilous fight
How they gloriously died-let history tell.
But paler than ever that star shed its light
When Travis---the Texas Leonidas---fell.

Where the tyrant dismayed, from the battle-field fled,
Where the blood of his minions encrimsoned the plain,
O'er the field of Jacinto, where slumber the dead,
More brilliant than ever that star rose again

And now in the flag of the Union, that star
In a bright constellation unceasingly glows.
And long may it shine, in peace or in war,
A beacon to friends, or a terror to foes.


  J.W. Nichols in his diary, Now You Hear My Horn, referring to the complacency of Texians after Centralist Gen. Vazquez departed Bexar back across the Rio Grande prior to the larger Woll invasion.

".....Had we the real object of this raid, while soft peace was pearched upon our standered we would have been makeing preparations and not been charmed into sleepy idleness by her warbling these lines.

Once more soft peace spread ore the land,
Her wide streached balmy wings,
And brings glad tiding in her hand
And thus in her low chant she sings:
Rest wariors, rest thy weary limbs
On the soil thy blood and deeds made free,
While the flaiming sword and cherubims,
Guide the portals after me:
Rest wariors, rest in slumbers charms.
Duty makes troubles you must forego
Eare long you may hear the call to arms
To repel the sons of Mexico.

Rev. Z.N. Morrell from Fruits and Flowers at a service interrupted by news of an Indian depredation in the area.

".....A proposition was made that we should sing one of the songs of Zion, to drive the gloom away. Soon the echo was heard along the valley of the Guadalupe, and no doubt in hearing of the red warrior, of that old song so full of faith and heaven:

On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye.
To Canaan's fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.

Chorus: Oh, sacred hope; oh, blissful hope,
By inspiration given,
The hope, when days and years are passed,
We all shall meet in heaven.

 


The Alamo

The Texan MarseillaiseBy a unidentified gentleman from Columbia, on receiving Travis's call from the Alamo.  March, 1836.   From the Telegraph and Texas Register, August 9, 1836

Texians, to your banner fly,
Texians, now your valor try,
Listen to your country's cry;
Onward to the field.

Armed in perfect panoply,
Marshaled well our ranks must be:
Strike the blow for liberty,
Make the tyrant yield.

Who is he that fears his power?
Who is he that dreads the hour?
Who is he would basely cower?
Let him flee for life.

Who is he that ready stands
To fight for Texas and her lands?
Him his country now commands,
Onward, to the strife.

Small in number is our host,
But our cause is nobly just:
God of battles is our trust
In the dread affray.

 


The Texian Hunter by R.M. Potter.  Bolton and Barker in With the Makers of Texas suggest that "the old hunter described in these lines seems to have been Captain Albert Martin, of Gonzales---at least it was he that led the reinforcements into the Alamo just before it fell. His character is typical of the early frontiersman."

Where murmurs Guadalupe's stream
Along its rocky bed,
Embowered in a live oak grove
There stands a lowly shed,
All mossy grown, for cold has been
Its hearth for many a year.
God rest his soul who once abode
Within that cabin drear;
A brave old Texian hunter he,
All of the prairies wild.

A lonely, strange, untaught old man,
No care nor fear he knew,
So happy in his solitude,
So guileless, kind, and true;
With a heart that, like his rifle good,
Ne'er wavered in its aim,
In weal and woe, to friend or foe,
Its truth was aye the same;
For a fine old Texian hunter bold
Was he who roamed the wild.

He seldom sought the busy scene
Where men together dwelt,
Yet kindly towards his fellow man
This mateless woodman felt.
His iron visage smiled, and well
The Arab host he play'd,
Whenever to his green-wood home
A wand'ring footstep strayd,
Like a good old Texian hunter bold,
All of the prairies wild.

When ruffian war dismay'd the land,
In freedom's darkest hour,
Up rose this single hearted man
To brave the invader's power,
And sought those batter'd ramparts where
A fated few opposed,
With fierce despair, the pending shock
Of legions round them closed;
And the stout old Texian hunter burned
With ardor strange and wild.

Said he, "Of laws and governments
I nought can understand;
But I will fight for these green woods
And my adopted land;
Though I'm a lonely forest man,
Nor kindred round me know,
Yet for my native tongue and race
My blood shall freely flow,
As a true old Texian hunter's ought
Who loves his prairies wild."

One night while round the Alamo
Beleaguering thousands lay,
With thirty men he through them charged,
And inward won his way.
Said he, "I thought my bones to lay
Beneath my live oak tree;
But now these doom'd walls shall prove
A nobler tomb for rne;"
And the grim old Texian hunter sighed,
"Farewell ye prairies wild."

At dawn, with shout, and cannon's peal,
And charging escalade,
In pour'd the foe, though rank on rank
Their bravest low were laid.
Mid booming shot and bayonets' clang,
Expired that Spartan few;
And there an hundred, ere they sank,
A thousand foemen slew.
There the tough old Texian hunter died
No more to roam the wild.

But in the Elysian hunting grounds
He dwells among the brave
Souls of the free of every age
Who died their lands to save;
And thousands here, when comes the hour,
A fate like his will dare;
For hands and hearts as stout and true
Hath Texas yet to spare,
As the brave old Texian hunter bore
Upon his prairies wild.

From The Telegraph & Texas Register
30 Nov 1842

 


Hymn of the Alamo
by Col. R. M. Potter

Arise, man the wall, our clarion's blast
Now sounds its final reveille!
This dawning morn must be the last
Our fated band shall ever see.
To life, but not to hope, farewell.
Yon trumpet's clang and cannon's peal,
And storming shout and clash of steel,
Is ours,---but not our country's knell.

Welcome the Spartan's death-
'Tis no despairing strife---
We fall---we die---but our expiring breath
Is freedom's breath of life.

Here on this new Thermopylae,
Our monument shall tower on high,
And, ALAMO, hereafter be
On bloodier fields the battle-cry!

Thus Travis from the rampart cried;
And when his warriors saw the foe
Like whelming billows move below,
At once each dauntless heart replied:

Welcome the Spartan's death---
'Tis no despairing strife---
We fall, but our expiring breath
Is freedom's breath of life!

They come-like autumn leaves they fall,
Yet hordes on hordes they onward rush,
With gory tramp they mount the wall,
Till numbers the defenders crush.

The last was felled the fight to gain,
Well may the ruffians quake to tell
How Travis and his hundred fell,
Amid a thousand foemen slain.

They died the Spartan's death---
But not in hopeless strife:
Like brothers died---and their expiring breath
Was freedom's breath of life."

From Dixon, Poets & Poetry of Texas

 


The Death of David Crockett
Who Fell at the Alamo, March 1836
By T. F. Smith (From the Houston Telegraph)

HEARD ye that sigh, that melancholy wail,
Borne sadly on by evening's fitful gale,
Like some lone whisper from the silent tomb,
Shrouding a nation with its saddening gloom?
It comes from Texas, like a dying knell,
Where gloriously the immortal Crockett fell.

Like some tall giant on the field of blood,
Undaunted 'midst the gallant slain be stood,
He knew no fear-in danger's darkful storm
He boldly, proudly, reared his warrior form.

His cause-the cause of freedom and the free,
His glorious watchword-Death or liberty.
Sleep, mighty warrior, in thy tombless bed,
The bravest hero of the valiant dead!

Thy name is cherished in a nation's pride,
Whose tears for thy sad fate can ne'er be dried.
Some sculptured marble yet shall rise, and tell
How Crockett with his brave companions fell.

Freedom shall light her torch above thy tomb,
And freemen write the story of thy doom.
Tyrants shall tremble at thy honored name,
And blush to read the record of thy fame:
While millions, at their annual jubilee,
Shall boast a Crockett lost---a nation free!

 


The Men of the Alamo
(James Jeffrey Roche)

To Texans at Gonzales town ride, Ranger, for your life,
Nor stop to say good-by to home, or friend, or child, or wife,
But pass the word from ranch to ranch, to every Texan sword,
That fifty hundred Mexicans have crossed Nueces ford,
With Castrillon and perjured Cos, Sesma, and Almonte
And Santa Anna ravenous for vengeance and for prey.

They smite the land with fire and sword; the grass shall never grow
Where northward sweeps that locust horde on San Antonio.
Now who shall bar the foemen's path, to gain a breathing space?
'Til Houston and his scattered men shall meet them face I to face?
Who holds his life as less than naught when home and honor call.
And counts the guerdon full and fair for liberty to fall?
Oh, who but Barrett Travis, the bravest of them all!

With seven score of riflemen to play the ranchers' game
And feed a counter fire to hold the sweeping prairie flame.
For Bowie, of the broken blade is there to cheer them on
With Evans of Concepcion, who conquered Castrillon,
And o'er the heads the Texas flag defiant floats on high
And no man thinks of yielding and no man fears to die.

But ere the siege is held a week a cry is heard without,
A clash of arms, a rifle peal, the Rangers' ringing shout,
And two and thirty beardless boys have bravely hewn their way
To die with Travis, if they must, to conquer if they may.
Was ever bravery so cheap in glory's mart before
In all the days of chivalry, in all the deeds of war?

But once agaln the foemen gaze in wonderment and fear
To see a stranger break their lines and hear the Texans cheer.
Oh, how they cheered to welcome him and those spent starving men
For Davy Crockett by their side, was worth an army then!
The wounded ones forgot their wounds; the dying drew a breath
To hail the king of border men, then turned to laugh at death.
For all knew Davy Crockett, the generous and bold,
And strong and rugged as the quartz that hides the heart of gold.

His simple creed for word or deed true as the bullet sped
And hit the target straight: "Be sure you're right, then go ahead."
And were they right who fought that fight for Texas by his, side?
They questioned not, they faltered not, they only fought and died.
Who hath an enemy like these, in mercy slay him straight,
A thousand Mexicans lay dead outside the convent gate
And half a thousand more must die before the fortress falls
And still the tide of war beats high around those 'leaguered walls.

At last the bloody breach was won; the weakened lines I gave way.
The wolves were swarming in the court; the lions stand at bay.
The leader meets him in the breach and wins the soldier's prize.
A foeman's bosom sheathes his sword when gallant Travis dies.
Now let the victor feast at will until his crest he red,
We may not know what rapture fills the vulture with the dead.

Let Santa Anna's valiant sword right bravely hew and hack
The senseless course; its hands are cold; they will not strike him back.
Let Bowie die, but 'ware the hand that wields his deadly knife.
Four went to slay and one came back, so dear he sold his life.
And last of all did Crockett fall, too proud to sue for grace,
So grand in death the butcher dared not look upon his dauntless face.

But far on San Jacinto's field the Texan toils are set
And Alamo'q dread memory the Texan steel shall whet.
And fame shall tell their deeds--who fell, till, all the years are run,
Thermopylae left one alive----the Alamo left none.
(From History of the Legends of The Alamo and Other Missions
in and around San Antonio by Adina De Zavala, 1917)

 

 

Ghosts of the Alamo
(Grantland Rice in the New York Tribune)

There's the tramp of a ghost on the low winds tonight,
And echo that drifts like a dream on its way;
There's the blur of the specter that leaves for the fight,
Grave-risen at last from a long vanished day;
There's.the shout and the call of grim soul unto soul
As they rise one by one, out of deaths shadowed glen
To follow the bugle-the drum's muffled roll,
Where the Ghosts of the Alamo gather again.

I hear Crockett's voice as he leaps from the dust
And waits at the call for an answering hail;
And Bowie caresses a blade red with rust
As deep in the shadows he turns to the trail;
Still lost in the darkness that covers their sleep
Their bodies may rest in a sand-mounded den,
But their spirits have come from the red, starry steep
Where Ghosts of the Alamo gather again.

You think they've forgotten; because they have slept
The day Santa Anna charged in with his slaves;
Where five thousand men 'gainst a few hundred swept
And stormed the last rampart that stood for their graves?
You think they've forgotten; but faint, from afar,
Brave Travis is calling the roll of his men
And a voice answers " Here!" Through the shadows that bar
Where Ghosts of the Alamo gather again.

There's a flash on a blade and you thought it a star
There's a light on the plain and you thought it the moon?
You thought the wind echoed that anthem of war?
Not knowing the lilt of an old border tune;
Gray shade after shade, stirred again unto breath;
Gray phantom by phantom they charge down the glen,
Where souls hold a hate that is greater than death,
Where Ghosts of the Alamo gather again.
(From History of the Legends of The Alamo and Other Missions
in and around San Antonio by Adina De Zavala, 1917)

 

 SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2002, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved