Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/12

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


Literary Gazette, 1st February, 1823, Pages 74-75

If only one should fall. Hark, hark! a rush
Of hurrying feet is heard amid the woods,—
A ringing peal of musketry, red lights
Flashing like meteors, clanging swords and shouts,
Deep groans, are on the wind—the enemy
Has rushed down from the mountains! Up they spring,
Those friends, and each is at his post. Dark night,
Oh terrible is thy shadow on the battle!
Blows dealt alike on friend and foe, the dead ,
And dying trampled on—oh, day alone
Should look upon the soldier's deeds! At length
The sun rose o'er his palm and diamond land:
His first light shone on blood—the morning's tears
Fell over patching lips and weary brows,
And quenched the death-thirst of full many a wretch
Already blackening in last agony.
But they are safe, those war-stars of the field,
The English warriors: one desperate rush,
And all gives way before them. See! they turn
Their recreant enemies: the dark-eyed youth,
Waving the colours, gallantly springs forth;
But death is on his course! that graceful arm
Is smitten in its strength. He fell, but stretched
With his last grasp the banner to his friend,
Who caught the flag, rushed forward as revenge
Were now his only hope. Why fall those colours?
Their gallant bearer never flagged before:
But fate hath marked him, too: they fell together!

L.E. L.