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1791 - 1823
The Burial of Sir John Moore
Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note
As his corse to the rampart we hurried.
not a soldier discharged hisfarewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light,
And the lantern dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cload around him!
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the facethat was dead
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought as wehollowed hisnarrow bed
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread p’er his head,
And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone,
And o’er his cold ashes ubbraid him -
But little he’ll reck, if they him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun,
That the oe was sullenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory.
© 2001 Elena and Yakov Feldman