Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX. 1876–79.

Mexico: Monterey


By Charles Fenno Hoffman (1806–1884)

WE were not many,—we who stood

Before the iron sleet that day;

Yet many a gallant spirit would

Give half his years if but he could

Have been with us at Monterey.

Now here, now there, the shot it hailed

In deadly drifts of fiery spray,

Yet not a single soldier quailed

When wounded comrades round them wailed

Their dying shout at Monterey.

And on, still on our column kept,

Through walls of flame, its withering way;

Where fell the dead, the living stept,

Still charging on the guns which swept

The slippery streets of Monterey.

The foe himself recoiled aghast,

When, striking where he strongest lay,

We swooped his flanking batteries past,

And, braving full their murderous blast,

Stormed home the towers of Monterey.

Our banners on those turrets wave,

And there our evening bugles play;

Where orange-boughs above their grave

Keep green the memory of the brave

Who fought and fell at Monterey.

We are not many,—we who pressed

Beside the brave who fell that day;

But who of us has not confessed

He ’d rather share their warrior rest

Than not have been at Monterey?