1797.4 - "Reflections on a Field of Battle"

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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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1797.4
Reflections on a Field of Battle
"Valdarno"
The Monthly Mirror, II (May 1797), p. 306

When the philanthropist, with pensive eye,
    Observes the horrors of th' ensanguin'd plain,
Counts ev'ry tear and numbers ev'ry sigh,
    That falls or heaves in mem'ry of the slain;
Alike confus'd sees poverty and pride,
    The humble soldier and the general fall,
In fate associates, lying side by side,
    Their grave the same, the same their funeral pall—
How must he comment on this waste of breath,
    This senseless slaughter of the human kind,
How much lament that, prematurely, death
    Should such a list of hapless victims find.
If life, at best, too short to us appear,
    Why bring a crisis, distant else, so near?


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Published @ RC

September 2004