1812.3 - "Nelson--A Dirge"

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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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1812.3
Nelson—A Dirge
John Mayne [1]
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXXIV (September, 1812), p. 263
The Monthly Magazine, XXXIV (September 1, 1812), p. 137
The London Chronicle, CXII (September 17, 1812), p. 276
The Scots Magazine, LXXII (November 1812), p. 864

Saw ye the streets when NELSON died,
    When his funereal train drew near,
The troops arrang'd on every side,
    The people gazing in the rear?

I saw the streets when NELSON died:
    When his funereal car drew near,
Not one brave heart but deeply sigh'd,
    Not one fair cheek without a tear!

A Nation's grief bedew'd his grave;
    Devotion mourn'd him as her own;
For, in the battle, truly brave,
    He fear'd th' OMNIPOTENT alone!

Oh! how it sooth'd the Hero's shade,
    Though weeping still at Trafalgar,
When in the grave his dust was laid
    With all the pride and pomp of war!

Intomb'd in yonder hallow'd fane,
    With requiems due his ashes rest;
Archangels, with a solemn strain,
    Inshrin'd his spirit with the blest!

NELSON! to men and angels dear,
    Thy name shall never, never die!
Britain embalms it with a tear,
    And Fame records it with a sigh!


Notes

1. A Scottish poet, Mayne began his career as a printer in the office of the Dumfries Journal. He went to London in 1787 where he became proprietor and joint editor of TheStar. His long poem, Siller Gun, expanded over a period 1777-1836, was considered by Walter Scott to be superior to anything of Ferguson and close to Burns (Lady of the Lake, v. 20.).

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