1804 17

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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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The British Heroes
The Anti-Gallican (1804), p. 414

The war's begun, the British fair
    All weakness overcome;
The harp and lyre beneath their care,
    Now hail the sprightly drum.

Like Sparta's matrons nobly great,
    Wives, mothers, daughter vie
Who most shall heroes animate
    To conquer or to die.

    Sound the trumpet loud!
        Bid the minstrel join
    The prayer of yonder lovely crowd;
        For our sons of fame,
    In sounds divine,
    Invoking each auspicious name
        In battle to defend them.
Hail! they exclaim, rending the air,
O listen to our fervent prayer,
    May victory attend them!

See, with delight, some lovely fair
    Her parting hero deck,
A laurel wreath adorn his hair,
    Her portrait grace his neck.

Thus armed, he pants to join th' attack;
    She firmly bids him go,
And warns him soon to bring her back
    Some trophy from the foe.

    Sound the trumpet loud, &c.

A mother cries, "My love's first joy,
    Go, fame and honour bring;
From me thou hold'st thy life, dear boy,
    In trust, to serve thy king:

Yet, from the reeking slaughter come,
    Whatever chance betide,
In safety bring thy father home,
    Or perish by his side."

    Sound the trumpet loud, &c.

Thus shall the lovely British dame
    To latest times be sung;
Great, brave, and noble, as the fame,
    And honour whence she sprung.

Thus heroes perils shall survive,
    Shall love and glory share;
And, angel-guarded, shall derive
    Protection from the fair.

    Sound the trumpet loud, &c.

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Original publication date


Published @ RC

September 2004