1806 5

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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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Invasion Anticipated
An Ode.

“W. Austin”
The European Magazine, IL (June 1806), pp. 451-452


Soldier! why in cruel pride
Strive to swell the purple tide?
Anxious shun the murd'rous strife,
Think thee of thy babes and wife.

View thy children clinging round,
Scar'd at the terrific sound
Much the mad invasion gives
Threat'ning woe to human lives.

Stay with them, and be at rest;
Leave to Heaven its high behest;
Can they live from thee alone?
Who'll protect when thou art gone?


Cold suggestions oft impart
Weakness to the manly heart;
Paint the warrior, ardent, bold,
Whom no lesser tie could hold,
Strong of limb, in purpose great,
Charg'd with Albion's mighty fate,
Hero! from Love's chains be free,
Rouse the patriot's energy!


Dreadful tho' the battle call me,
'Tis my fears for thee appal me,
    Tender thoughts awhile controul;
Yet those trumpets, shrilly sounding,
And those hollow drums, rebounding,
    Prompt to furious deeds my soul!
Hark! the vollied muskets pour,
Widely rattling round the shore,
See the misty squadrons set—
All the field with blood is wet—
Honour bids, I cannot stay,
Haste thee, dearest, haste away!


View Napoleon's flag advance
From the ruin'd plains of France,
Troops far spreading o'er the land,
Triumph of a short command;
Wild Ambition, in their van,
Points Destruction's hellish plan,
Art, their paltry art, supplies
Brib'ry, manifestoes, lies;
Truth appears! her brilliant shield
Drives Deception from the field.


Lo! the conflict's furious rage,
    Wond'rous Chiefs in arms contend;
Horrid strife awhile they wage;
    Strife that in defeat must end.

Rashly o'er the foamy wave,
    Sons of Gallia! are ye come;
Doom'd to fill the yawning grave
    Distant from your native home.

Where no eye shall weep ye, gone;
    Where no bell your knell shall ring;
Where your spirits oft shall moan,
    When the bat doth spread his wing;

Conscious, by the paly light
    Of the moon's uncertain beam,
Shall ye, wand'ring, tell the night,
    Silly was ambition's dream.

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Original publication date


Published @ RC

September 2004