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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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1815.11
Lines written after reading an account of
the Late Battle

“W. A.”
The New Monthly Magazine, IV (November 1, 1815), p. 331

How soon the world's pacific prospects fade
    And sink in sombre shade.
Those joys which lately we with rapture viewed
        Those peaceful charms;
        To War's alarms
        Once more give way;
Mad Discord! not sufficiently imbrued
With deeds of blood, and cursed destructive power
Would still prolong its short remaining hour,
Short I should hope, for lo! the embattled plain
        Proof of its potent sway
Lies heaped with myriads of its victims slain.

Once more the fiend in human form appears,
    The Monstrous hydra rears
His seven-fold, hideous features, to our sight
        Rebellion thrives,
        The tyrant strives,
        But strives in vain
To bring his traitorous forces to the fight,
He ne'er can cope with England's proudest boast,
Who leads to victory, in himself a host,
Whose troops are those heroic Britons born,
        Whom nothing can restrain;
Who dare proud Gallia's power, her empty vauntings
                                scorn.

But pause! and contemplate this scene of blood,
    This endless widowhood,
To many a thousand sorrows, joys, and fears:
        The mother's sighs,
        The Orphan's cries,
        The parent's grief,
In agonising strains assail our ears—
Say then; shall England's sufferers bleed in vain,
In this blest land sure no one will refrain
To give a pittance to their country's need,
        Tho' small it gives relief,
And heals the wound by want made deep indeed.

What tho' my feelings for my country yearn,
    And claim my first concern,
Yet fine supporters of this glorious day,
        Allied by birth,
        And every worth,
        To honour`s cause;
Your dauntless prowess shines with brightest ray!
And while we sojourn in this world below,
May we no discord, no disunion know,
Firm to each other, shew mankind like men
        Support, enjoy our laws,
And drive oppression from his murderous den.

July 19, 1815.


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Published @ RC

September 2004