An Old Soldier's Answer
The Poetical Magazine (1809), pp. 133-134
"Cease, vain complainer, check those dastard sighs,
Thy Country calls thee, and thy King commands:
Shall Gallic infidels," the vet'ran cries,
'Plunder thy sheep-folds, and lay waste thy lands?
Go, seize with manly grasp thy polish'd blade,
Nor curse the artizan by whom 'twas made.
"What time thy faithful watch-dog growls alarms,
Bold dost thou meet the plund'rers of thy flocks:
Shall Anna then, be sever'd from thine arms;
Thy babes be dash'd against the blood-stain'd rocks;
And thou nor hear their cries, nor heed their tears?
Rouse, rouse thee, Henry, from such coward fears."
Fire-flashing vengeance darting from his eyes,
Quick springs young Henry from his mossy bed;—
"Perish each dastard thought!" he boldly cries,
"Lead me, ere yet one British soul has bled—
Lead me, good vet'ran, to th' invaded coast,
And Henry's single arm shall prove an host."
Devonshire, May 30, 1809.