Ferguson’s Grave

A lament for British Major Patrick Ferguson, killed at the Battle of King’s Mountain during the American Revolution, October 7, 1780

***

Ferguson, lying beneath cold stones,

Gray with lichen clinging,

Do you yearn for the sounds of home?

Can you hear me singing?

Ocean’s cry…

As they die…

‘Neath the stars…

Ferguson, lying beneath hard sod,

Dark with raindrops seeping,

Did you make your peace with God?

Was your mother weeping?

Tidal sweep…

Heart-wrenched deep…

Wounds and scars…

Ferguson, lying in old rawhide,

Shattered sinews binding,

Do you regret your burning pride?

Did it prove too blinding?

Riding high…

Swords defy…

The red sun…

Ferguson, lying with Red-haired Sal,

Broken bones now mingling,

Did the Tory women wail?

Were the vultures singing?

Hear the tide…

Horse to ride…

As they run…

Ferguson, lying in Highland plaid,

Sure-shot metal tearing,

Did you watch the world drain red

As the coat you’re wearing?

Silenced song…

Dragged along…

To its end…

Ferguson, lying on mount of kings,

Now to dust returning,

How stands the boast of earthly things?

Was this your fatal learning?

Stripped to bones…

Skin from soul…

Has been rent…

Ferguson, lying beyond command

Of a monarch’s fury,

Does is matter from where you stand

If I’m Whig or Tory?

Friend and foe…

Lying low…

Life-blood spent…

Ferguson, lying with heart grown cold,

And the spirit winging,

The shot ne’er fired was made of gold

And the fiddle’s singing

Moments passed…

Now you’re last…

What’s the sum?

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