The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna
- by Charles Wolfe 40Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning;
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light
And the lantern dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him,--
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring:
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But left him alone with his glory.
Oh say not that my heart is cold
- by Charles Wolfe 27Oh say not that my heart is cold
To aught that once could warm it -
That Nature's Form so dear of old
No more has power to charm it;
Or that th' ungenerous world can chill
One glow of fond emotion
For those who made it dearer still,
And shared my wild devotion.
Still oft those solemn scenes I view
In rapt and dreamy sadness;
Oft look on those who loved them too
With Fancy's idle gladness;
Again I longed to view the light
In Nature's features glowing;
Again to tread the mountain's height,
And taste the soul's o'erflowing.
Stern Duty rose, and frowning flung
His leaden chain around me;
With iron look and sullen tongue
He muttered as he bound me -
'The mountain breeze, the boundless heaven,
Unfit for toil the creature;
These for the free alone were given, -
But what have slaves with Nature?'
Poems by Charles Wolfe, Charles Wolfe's poems collection. Charles Wolfe is a classical and famous poet (4 December 1791 - 21 February 1823 / Blakhall, County Kildare). Share all poems of Charles Wolfe.
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