Imitation of Campbell's "Hohenlinden"
The Morning Chronicle (January 20, 1815)
Hark! heard ye not the war-note dread,
Borne on the gale terrific spread?
Saw ye the gleam of helm and blade,
The pomp of martial pageantry?
On to the fight! they charge, they meet;
Bursts the loud cannon's roar, while beat
Beneath their thund'ring coursers' feet,
The groaning turf rings hollowly.
What eye may pierce that sulphury cloud,
That veils amid its awful shroud
The shouts, the tramp of chargers proud,
The struggling pang of agony?
What tongue may tell the deeds of woe
Done 'mid that fiery combat's glow,
Where drunk with slaughter, foe to foe,
They close in furious rivalry?
They reel! they fly! the mingling cries
Of horror, death, despair, arise;
And hark! far echoing to the skies
The gladd'ning peal of victory!
'Tis done! 'tis past! the clouds of night
Close o'er the fierce ensanguin'd fight:
Glances more faint each bayonet bright,
Silenc'd the drum's deep symphony.
The moonbeam sheds its lustre mild,
Where in promiscuous carnage pil'd
They sleep, their couch the heather wild,
The azure vault their canopy.
Low gasping on the battle plain,
No friend shall sooth their dying pain,
No sculptur'd stone, no mourning train,
Grace the dead hero's memory.
The midnight eagle's sullen cries
Shall chaunt the Warrior's obsequies,
And dews of heaven shall steep his eyes
In slumber of eternity.
Lincoln's Inn, Jan. 16, 1815.