Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  The Virginians of the Valley

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

The Virginians of the Valley

By Francis Orrery Ticknor (1822–1874)

[Born in Baldwin Co., Ga., 1822. Died near Columbus, Ga., 1874. From Poems of Frank O. Ticknor, M.D. 1879.]

THE KNIGHTLIEST of the knightly race

That, since the days of old,

Have kept the lamp of chivalry

Alight in hearts of gold:

The kindliest of the kindly band

That, rarely hating ease,

Yet rode with Spotswood round the land,

And Raleigh round the seas;

Who climbed the blue Virginian hills

Against embattled foes,

And planted there, in valleys fair,

The lily and the rose;

Whose fragrance lives in many lands,

Whose beauty stars the earth,

And lights the hearths of happy homes

With loveliness and worth.

We thought they slept!—the sons who kept

The names of noble sires,

And slumbered while the darkness crept

Around their vigil fires;

But aye the “Golden Horseshoe” knights

Their old Dominion keep,

Whose foes have found enchanted ground,

But not a knight asleep.