Lamentation of Gen. James Shields.
Draw near all bold defenders of every race and clime.
Give ear to these few voices I hereby pat in rhyme.
Concerning a brave warrior who fought on many fields.
A lion-hearted hero, whose name is General Shields.
At even-tide, the first of June, in eighteen and seventy-nine,
In Ottumwa's lovely city, fate's flat cried, resign!
The fight is o'er, the field is won, the chieftain is at rest.
And paeans of joy re-echo in mansions of the blest.
He emigrated to America when sixteen years old.
And for his adopted country fought vigorously and bold;
He proved to be a true citizen as history relates,
And he fought many a hard battle for the United States.
He fought on bench and forum, and in field likewise,
And his love for truth and honor he never did disguise;
'Gainst the enemies of freedom he struck a manly blow,
And he raised our starry banner on the heights of Mexico.
He challenged Abraham Lincoln in 1842,
And showed the Western Hoosier what an Irishman could do;
He caused poor Abe to tremble, so the duel was soon o'er,
And brave Shields and honest Lincoln were friends forever more.
A Hercules in intellect, Bonaparte in skill,
A Hector on the war-path, a Hannibal in will;
With Alexander's valor, and Spartan pluck and toil.
He vanquished Stonewall Jackson on old Virginia soil.
Descended from the noble stock of Ireland's glorious kings.
His Irish genius soared aloft on fame's immortal wings;
He loathed the cruel Sassanach and scorned old Albion's laws,
And stood in proud defiance of the British lion's claws.
He ranks with Dan O'Connell, with Grattan, Burke and Flood,
And Wellington and Brian Boru, and all such noble blood;
So let every son of Erin breathe forth an honest prayer,
That with the saints of Ireland James Shields may have a share.