Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  A War of Kings

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A War of Kings

By Nicholas Scull (1686?–1761?)

[Born near Philadelphia, Penn. Died in Philadelphia. Kawanio Che Keeteru: A true Relation of a Bloody Battle Fought between George and Lewis. 1756.]

THERE lived a man not long ago,

And yet may live for ought I know,

A patriot bold of honest fame,

A Briton true, and “George” his name.

His generous breast contained a heart

That dared to act an honest part;

He loved the cause of liberty,

And scorned a life that was not free;

His country’s cause he would defend,

And venture all to serve a friend;

No man more bold in time of danger,

To fear, as well as vice, a stranger.

Thus, long our hero lived at ease

With all the world, in love and peace,

Till Lewis, whose ambitious mind,

Nor law, nor justice, e’er could bind,

Seized on a part of George’s land,

And held possession, sword in hand.

Our hero, though averse to war,

Could not this daring insult bear,

But soon resolved his foe to fight,

And by the sword regain his right.


No sooner had the king of day

Bedecked the Eastern sky with gray,

When both the champions, well prepared,

In the decisive field appeared.

Quoth George, “I joy to meet you here;

Now to defend yourself prepare!”

Lewis returned, “Yourself defend,

Your life or mine the strife must end!”

This said, they instantly engage

With manly strength and martial rage;

A bloody combat long they held,

Each side unknowing how to yield.

They fought as brave, some authors tell us,

As did famed Hector and Achilles:

And asking both these heroes’ pardon,

They laid each other full as hard on.

At length our warrior, filled with shame,

Unto a close engagement came,

And soon let Lewis understand

What ’twas to fight him hand to hand.

For, now, alas! the crimson tide

Flowed freely from the aggressor’s side;

And, though he scarce his sword could wield,

His pride forbade his heart to yield.

When George, perceiving his distress,

His haughty foe did thus address:

“Lewis,” quoth he, “let ’s end the strife;

Restore my land, and take thy life.”

Quoth Lewis: “Know, that still I live,

And scorn the life that thou can’st give.

No; one of us must die this day,

For death alone shall end the fray.”

Thus he, when at our warrior’s head

With both his hands a blow he made;

But George, who kept a watchful eye,

Perceived the stroke, and put it by,

And at this usage quite enraged,

His fee with double force engaged.

Now, Lewis, when it was too late,

Saw plainly his approaching fate;

Yet, dauntless, bravely played his part

’Till George’s sword had pierced his heart:

At which he fell; and, falling, cried,

“My punishment is just;” and died.

Now from the multitude around,

Loud acclamations shake the ground;

Crying, “Now all our fears are fled,

For, lo! the lawless tyrant ’s dead;

May heaven its choicest gifts bestow

Upon the man that gave the blow.”