A sudden chasm of ghastly light
Yawned in the city's reeling wall,
And a long thundering through the night
Proclaimed our triumph—Tyrdarum's fall.
The shrieking wind sank mute and mild,
The smothering snow-clouds rolled away;
And cold—how cold! wan moonlight smiled
Where those black ruins smouldering lay.
'Twas over—all the battle's madness,
The bursting fires, the cannon's roar,
The yells, the groans, the frenzied gladness,
The death the danger warmed no more.
In plundered churches piled with dead
The heavy charger neighed for food,
The wounded soldier laid his head
'Neath roofless chambers splashed with blood.
I could not sleep through that wild siege,
My heart had fiercely burned and bounded;
The outward tumult seemed to assuage
The inward tempest it surrounded.
But dreams like this I cannot bear,
And silence whets the fang of pain;
I felt the full flood of despair
Returning to my breast again.