(By Bayard Taylor; sung in Minnesota by M. C. Dean. Tune derived from that collected by the Warners from Yankee John Galusha.)
Recording by RW:
An old and crippled veteran to the War Department came,
He sought the chief who led him o’er many a field of fame,
The chief who shouted “Forward!” whene’er his banner rose,
And bore the flag in triumph behind his flying foes.
“Have you forgotten, General,” the battered soldier cried,
“The days of Eighteen Hundred and Twelve when I fought by your side?
Have you forgotten Johnson who fought at Lundy’s Lane?
It’s true I’m old and feeble, but I’d like to fight again.”
“Have I forgotten?” says the chief, “My brave old soldier, No!
And here’s the hand I gave you then and let it tell you so;
But you have done your share, my friend, you are crippled, old and gray,
And we have need of stronger arms and fresher blood today.”
“I’m not so weak, but I can shoot, and I’ve a good old gun,
To get the range of traitors’ hearts and pierce them one by one;
And if a bullet should find me out and lay me on my face,
My soul will go to Washington, and not to Arnold’s place.
“I am ready, General, so you let a post to me be given,
Where Washington can look down on me as he looks down from Heaven,
And say to Putnam at his side, or maybe General Wayne,
‘There stands old Billie Johnson, he fought at Lundy’s Lane.'”