« PreviousContinue »
O fear not the bugle, tho' loudly it blows,
Then rest thee, babe, rest thee, babe, sleep on till day,
O slumber, my darling, the time it may come,
O rest thee, babe, rest thee, babe, sleep on till day,
THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE.*
Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried,
O'er the grave where our hero was buried.
* We have not been able to obtain any information who it was that wrote this poetical elegy, nor are there any traces which afford room for conjecture. It appeared at first in several of the public newspapers, from whence it was copied into Blackwood's Magazine for the month of June, 1817. The affair, however, to which it refers, and the distinguished person whom it so justly commemorates, are subjects too well known to require from us any circumstantial detail. They stand high on the roll of national distinction and achievements. Their importance and their renown have both been warmly recognized by the celebrations and the reverence of the public in general. The illustrious commander, in particular, who fell a victim in the contest, lies entombed in the recollections of his generous countrymen, and his memory, no doubt, will descend with undiminished lustre for the admiration and the example of ages to come.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
And the lantern dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in sheets nor in shrouds we bound him, But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow, But we stedfastly gaz'd on the face of the dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
Lieutenant General Sir John Moore was son to the celebrated Dr. Moore of Glasgow, and was born there in the month of November, 1761. He attached himself early to the profession of arms, and the whole course of his superior distinguished career showed how happy he had been in the choice which he had made. In the active discharge of his military duty, he visited the West Indies, Corsica, Holland, Ireland, and Egypt, and when the expedition to Spain was first meditated, his extensive and very eminent services recommended him as the fittest person to command in the undertaking Here it was, on the 16th of January, 1809, while engaged at Corunna, and with victory hovering around his standard, that he fell by a shot from the enemy's batteries. With a bravery worthy the most romantic heroism, he sustained his hard but honourable fate, and shortly after, with
We thought as we hollow'd his narrow bed,
And smooth'd down his lowly pillow,
And we far away on the billow.
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him,
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock told the hour for retiring,
That the foe was suddenly firing.
out a struggle, he breathed his last, having been previously assured of the defeat of the French, and expressing his great happiness at the advantage which his men had so gallantly obtained.
An occurrence so solemn, so mournful, and so eventful, the very recital of which thrills the soul with the most varied emotions, was a theme in every view highly respectable, and worthy to awaken the feelings and song of the bard. The tribute of poetical celebration and applause has ever been courted by men of eminence in every department, but the illustrious in war have always preferred particular claims to the enviable distinction, and to them, accordingly, in all ages, it has been most liberally expressed.
In no unmeaning or trifling references, however, which too frequently pervade productions of a similar kind, does the piece before us in the least indulge. It is dedicated solely to that concluding but painful scene which finishes for ever all the active duties of the living to the dead. With a tenderness and simplicity properly suited to the occasion, it describes the time and manner of entombment, while the sensations and the fears are pathetically unfolded, which occupied the minds of the sorrowful attendants, “as they bitterly thought on the morrow.” Nor can we forbear remarking how happily and how energetically the author concludes. With impressions solemnized by the importance of the moment, when the earth was
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame, fresh and gory, We carv'd not a line, we rais'd not a stone,
But we left him alone in his glory.
THOU ART NOT FALSE.
Thou art not false, but thou art fickle,
To those thyself so fondly sought;
Are doubly bitter from that thought ; 'Tis this which breaks the heart thou grievest, Too well thou lov'st—too soon thou leavest.
The wholly false the heart despises,
to receive and for ever conceal the sacred remains of the illustrious chief, our poet movingly expresses the sorrow of the troops, as displayed even in the very act of consignment, “Slowly and sadly they laid him down." He adverts, in a highly descriptive strain, to the martial state in which the hero was buried, “From the field of his fame fresh and gory," and by a single but comprehensively significant line, he describes him as “Left alone in his glory." [Of course the authorship of these verses is now known to every one. They give poetical immortality to the name of Wolfe.-- Editor, 1872.)
But she who not a thought disguises,
Whose love is as sincere as sweet,When she can change who loved so truly, It feels what mine has felt so newly.
To dream of joy and wake to sorrow
Is doomed to all who love or live;
We scarce our fancy can forgive,
What must they feel whom no false vision,
But truest, tenderest passion warmed ? Sincere, but swift in sad transition,
As if a dream alone had charmed ? Ah ! sure such grief is fancy's scheming, And all thy change can be but dreaming?
TWINE WEEL THE PLAIDEN.
Oh ! I hae lost my silken snood,
That tied my hair sae yellow ;