The Spirit of the Nation/The Saxon Massacre

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The sword of the Saxon with slaughter is red—
But the blood on his blade in no battle was shed;
For—Heavens! the babe, and the maid, and the mother,
Have shared the same fate with the sire and the brother!
It is not the blush by the morning sun spread
That tints the horizon so luridly red—
It is not the heath on the mountain side high,
Whose blaze flings the glare on the far-flushing sky—
'Tis the flame of the village illumines the air,
Where the shriek of the maiden, in madden'd despair,
Pleads to the heart of the monsters in vain,
Who are dyed with the blood of her kindred slain!

Spare! spare them, cursed Wilmot![1] the heroes who lie
On those gore crimson'd couches, unfriended, to die!
To the helpless—the fallen—some pity extend—
They fought but their altars and homes to defend!
Behold their deep wounds!—they are foes—but they're men!—
You never will blench at their onset again!
'Tis vain, the lone war-steed that gasps on the plain,
When midnight broods over the dying and slain,
As well might expect the gaunt wolves to forbear,
As the hope of the merciless Saxon to spare!

  1. One of the acts of Sir Charles Wilmot, one of Elizabeth's pacificators of Ireland, was to butcher in cold blood the sick and wounded whom he found in a deserted Irish camp.