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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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On the Return of a Festival
"Mr. Dyer"
[George Dyer][1]
The Lady's Magazine, XXIX (1798), p. 277

While War through kindred nations roams,
    With fiery eye and blood-stain'd spear,
And Pity, on the warrior's tombs,
    Hangs the pale wreath, and drops a tear,—
While thousands bleed,—while thousands die,
Let Britons heave the generous sigh.

Mirth hails in vain the festal day,
    The Muse in vain prepares the song,
The note of triumph dies away,
    And horror chills the poet's tongue;
For thousands bleed,—for thousands die,
And Britons heave the generous sigh.

By all the gallant warriors slain,—
    By all the tender hearts, that mourn
The widow'd and the orphan train,
    We pray, sweet Peace, thy blest return.
But, oh! while thousand Britons die,
Let Britons heave the generous sigh.


1. A frequent contributor to magazines, Dyer (1755-1841) published many works including Poems, Consisting of Odes and Elegies (1792); The Complaints of the Poor People of England (1793); Poems (1801); and Poems (1802).

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Original publication date


Published @ RC

September 2004