Nathan Hale

Hiding

“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.”

 — From “Nathan Hale” by Francis Miles Finch in Poems of American Patriotism (1922) illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. Hale, 21, was scouting the British army’s strength for General George Washington. Hale was captured and hanged as a spy on September 22, 1776, and is remembered for his last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”