Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Middle States: Tappan, N. Y.


By Charlotte Fiske Bates (1838–1916)

THIS is the place where André met that death

Whose infamy was keenest of its throes,

And in this place of bravely yielded breath

His ashes found a fifty years’ repose;

And then, at last, a transatlantic grave,

With those who have been kings in blood or fame,

As Honor here some compensation gave

For that once forfeit to a hero’s name.

But whether in the Abbey’s glory laid,

Or on so fair but fatal Tappan’s shore,

Still at his grave have noble hearts betrayed

The loving pity and regret they bore.

In view of all he lost,—his youth, his love,

And possibilities that wait the brave,

Inward and outward bound, dim visions move

Like passing sails upon the Hudson’s wave.

The country’s Father! how do we revere

His justice,—Brutus-like in its decree,—

With André-sparing mercy, still more dear

Had been his name,—if that, indeed, could be!