Intro to Chapter III of A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier

Joseph Plumb Martin 1760 (Becket, MA) – 1850 (Stockton Springs, ME)



"Long sleepless nights in heavy arms I stood
And spent laborious days in dust and blood"
- The Iliad by Homer

Campaign of 1777

When troubles fall within your dish,
And things don't tally with your wish:
It's just as well to laugh as cry—
To sing and joke, as moan and sigh;—
For a pound of sorrow never yet
Cancel'd a single ounce of debt.

About this poem

The American soldiers of the American Revolution, (a motley crew of city folk, farmers, beggars and gentlemen) armed with little else than the clothes on their backs, faced numerous hardships that mirror those of infantrymen in any time. Though disertion was hardly a recourse, they kept themselves going through the promise that they would win their and their nation's freedom. Imaginably they attempted to hoist their morale in different ways and for Martin, his wartime journaling helped him process the atrocities he witnessed and the near constant, looming threat of death.  

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Written on 1777

Submitted by JokerGem on October 11, 2022

Modified by JokerGem on January 26, 2023

22 sec read
20

Quick analysis:

Scheme XXX X AABBCC
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 345
Words 71
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 3, 1, 6

Joseph Plumb Martin

Joseph Plumb Martin's claim to fame was his some 7 years spent serving in the American Revolutionary War starting at the age of 15 and his story, "A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers, and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier Interspersed with Anecdotes of Incidents That Occurred Within His Own Observation," (as he originally titled and published it in 1830, AKA Private Yankee Doodle). Though his notoriety is mostly posthumous, as this work went largely undiscovered until the 1950's, historians since have marveled it as a compelling memoir on war's hardships (though it includes some embellishments, as it is known Martin could not have been aware or privy to certain other wartime developments) and its vivid account of a Continental soldier's life during that conflict. Martin settled in Maine after the war and served as a town clerk and justice of the peace. more…

All Joseph Plumb Martin poems | Joseph Plumb Martin Books

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    "Intro to Chapter III of A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/140825/intro-to-chapter-iii-of-a-narrative-of-a-revolutionary-soldier>.

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