Landon in The Literary Gazette 1823/Old Man

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For other versions of this work, see An Old Man over the Body of his Son.
Poems  (1823)  by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Medallion Wafers - An Old Man standing by the dead body of a Youth

Literary Gazette, 1st March 1823, Page 139

An Old Man standing by the dead body of a Youth [1]

I am too proud by far to weep,
    Though earth had nought so dear
As was the Soldier Youth to me
    Now sleeping on that bier.
It were a stain upon his fame
Would do his laurel crown a shame,
    To shed one single tear.
It was a blessed lot to die
In battle, and for liberty!

He was my first, my only child,
    And when my race was run,
I was so proud to send him forth
    To do as I had done.
It was his last, his only field:
They brought him back upon his shield,
    But victory was won.
I cannot weep when I recall
Thy land has cause to bless thy fall.

When others tell their children all
    The fame that warriors win,
I must sit silent, and but think
    On what my child had been.
It is a father's joy to see
The young eyes glow exultingly
    When warlike tales begin;
And yet I know no living one
I would change for my sleeping Son.[2]

  1. Appears in The Vow of the Peacock and Other Poems (1835), as AN OLD MAN OVER THE BODY OF HIS SON.
  2. Signature after later poem