Nathan Hale by Francis Miles Finch in Poems of American Patriotism, (1922) illustrated by N.C. Wyeth
By starlight and moonlight,
He seeks the Briton’s camp;
He hears the rustling flag,
And the armed sentry’s tramp;
And the starlight and moonlight
His silent wanderings lamp.
With slow tread and still tread,
He scans the tented line;
And he counts the battery guns
By the gaunt and shadowy pine;
And his slow tread and still tread
Gives no warning sign.
It is hard to remember, these iconic figures, how they were real people. Nathan Hale was all of 21 when captured by the British and hanged as a spy on September 22, 1776. He is remembered probably most for his last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”