1795.13 - "The Widow"

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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1795.13
The Widow
"Sandy"
The Morning Post (June 22, 1795)

    The Moon was sinking in the West,
        And briskly blew the ev'ning gale.
    When WILLIAM, from his NANCY prest,[1]
        Spread with a sigh the swelling sail;

And soon was wafted from his native shore,
To see his NANCY'S dear-lov'd form no more.

    The tear oft sparkled in her eye,
        And oft bedew'd her pallid cheek;
    And speechless Grief, in many a sigh,
        Whisper'd her o'erfraught heart to break.
In vain her constant bosom sought repose;
The eye that view'd not WILLIAM could not close.

    Fearless of ill, the gallant fleet
        O'er the loud-dashing billows go;
    Each Briton's breast tumultuous beat,
        To hurl destruction on their foe.
Conquest no more could heal poor WILLIAM'S smart—
He spill'd the ruddy drop that warm'd his heart.

    Alternate Hope, alternate Fear,
        In NANCY'S constant bosom reign;
    In vain she dropp'd the pearly tear—
        Hope sooth'd her constant heart in vain:
Her WILLIAM'S fate was told; she heard and sigh'd,
Cast up to Heav'n her eyes—then bow'd and died.


Notes

1. The impressment of seamen was a common practice of the period, and anti-war poets often made use of this in their verses.

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Published @ RC

September 2004