Grand Haven Daily Tribune  October 19, 1900


The Dying Veteran.


Sam Houston’s daring scout is dying!

Death’s damp-cold hand has touched his brow!

He’s surely fighting his last battle,

In that low Texan cabin now!

For ten long days he’s been unconscious,

Of both his boys, and watching friend;

They have no hope of his recovery,

And all are waiting for the end.


He fought bravely for Sam Houston,

And on many a bloody field:

He was with him at San Jacinto,

Where the “Greasers” were forced to yield:

Among the Mexicans and Indians,

He was a terror in his day:

With dripping bowie-knife an rifle,

He blazed Sam Houston’s onward way.


And he was there with Worth’s detachment,

Upon the heights of Monterey,

Also at Resca De LaPalma,

With the lamented Captain May:

But now he lies in that log cabin,

And gasping for a little breath!

He’s trying hard to win this battle

Against the dark-winged angel—Death!


But now a change comes o’er his features,

And he is lying there so still;

He is unconscious of things earthly.

Death has subdued the soldier’s will.

All through the night, he was so silent,

And seemingly so near his end;

Through all those hours, he has not spoken

To either son, nor to his friend.


But when the dawn began to glimmer,

And lighten up the eastern skies;

That shrunken face began to brighten,

And he once more opened his eyes!

“Hurry up, boys, for we must have them!”

“Before we go into camp tonight!”

“Hurry!  I say!  We’ll have the redskins,”

“And I expect a bloody fight!”


He has gone back for half a century,

And follows the Comanche’s trail;

They had captured a white family,

And by the name of Martindale:—

Once more he lies there still and quiet,

There’s not a movement on his bed;

The faithful watchers say his spirit

Into the other word has fled.


But no!  His eyes are once more open!

And lo!  He looks the demon now!

See how he clutches at the blankets!

Once more he lies there still and quiet

See how he clutches at the blankets!

And frenzy clouds the soldier’s brow!

“Give no quarter!  Show them no mercy!”

“We will avenge our wrongs tonight!”

“Now boys, remember the Alamo!”

“Kill every ‘Greaser’ in this fight!”


He has gone back to that engagement,

On San Jacinto’s bloody field!

He’s charging Santa Anna’s army,

Where once he made his forces yield!

But see!  His countenance is changing!

See how the hard lines of his face,

Vanish away like mists of morning,

And looks of kindness take their place!


On those pale lips so much like marble,

Sweet smiles of love and kindness play!

That shrunken face seems now transfigured!

Hark, hear him call!  “Come, little May!

“Come my daughter, come here to papa!”

“Let us now spend the happy hours”

“In walking out upon the prairie,”

“And plucking nature’s sweetest flowers!”


His sons look puzzled at each other,

Knowing, that fifty years before,

Their father frowned upon that daughter,

And turned her from his cabin door!

They knew, for fifty years and over—

That he had never spoke her name,

Because she’d caused her father sorrow,

Trouble, disgrace and lasting shame!


[missing line]

And he has passed to that bright shore,

Where “Little May” has been forgiven,

And hearts will grieve and ache no more:

He is gone where the din of earthly battles,

Will not be heard in Eden’s bowers;

And where, with “Little May” beside him,

They can pluck immortal flowers.


Grand Haven, Mich.

October 10, A. D. 1881.

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