Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L. E. L.) in Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1839/Sir Thomas Tyldesley

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1839-40-Sir Thomas Tyldesley.png


Artist: unknown - Engraved by: J. Cochran


The dew on the forest is steaming and white,
As cold as the moonbeam it mirrored all night.
Pale and ghostlike the stars fade away in the sky,
While a faint gleam tells that the sun is on high.

The moon in the west with a faint and veiled crest,
Her beauty departed, is sinking to rest;
The sun in the east is still cumbered with night,
No rays are around him, no colours are bright.

And dark, like an omen, the long shadow falls
Of my castle, that threatens, with war on its walls;
The guns on the ramparts—the flag on the keep,
Drooping downwards—their watch, but a sullen watch, keep.

There!—silence those trumpets—they suit not the hour—
My lady is weeping alone in her bower.
I ride not to battle as on I should ride,
With a foe to my face, and a friend at my side.

But the war-cry that rises to answer my own
Will be in the tongue I from childhood have known;
The hand will be English that meets my right hand,
And the soil where we fight is our own native land.

I shun not the combat, but grieve at the cause,
That ever our freedom, our faith, and our laws,
Our heritage old, that for ages has stood,
Should need the dark sanction and cement of blood.

Farewell! my fair castle—farewell! my fair dame—
Farewell! the fair boy—now the last of his name.
My banner I spread—to my saddle I spring—
I fight for my country—I fight for my king.

Sir Thomas Tyldesley was a distinguished cavalier, whose deeds were more suited to the pages of a romance than to those of history, and who, by his affection and steadiness to an unfortunate master, his dauntless courage and chivalrous bearing, has cast a halo round a cause, which of itself, perhaps, has little to recommend it. He was born at Tyldesley, in Lancashire, was bred in the German wars, raised a troop at his own expense to assist Charles I, served with honour at the battles of Edge-Hill, Burton-upon-Trent, Bolton, Lancaster, &c. and fell in the action of Wigan Lane, 25th of August, 1651. A monumental pillar was erected on the spot where he received his death-wound, and he was interred beneath a marble tomb in the Church of Leigh.