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Short poem

Thomas Campbell (1777-1844)


              1  On Linden, when the sun was low,
              2All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
              3And dark as winter was the flow
              4    Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

              5  But Linden saw another sight
              6When the drum beat at dead of night,
              7Commanding fires of death to light
              8    The darkness of her scenery.

              9  By torch and trumpet fast arrayed,
            10Each horseman drew his battle blade,
            11And furious every charger neighed
            12    To join the dreadful revelry.

            13  Then shook the hills with thunder riven,
            14Then rushed the steed to battle driven,
            15And louder than the bolts of heaven
            16    Far flashed the red artillery.

            17  But redder yet that light shall glow
            18On Linden's hills of stainèd snow,
            19And bloodier yet the torrent flow
            20    Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

            21  'Tis morn, but scarce yon level sun
            22Can pierce the war clouds, rolling dun,
            23Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
            24    Shout in their sulphurous canopy.

            25  The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
            26Who rush to glory, or the grave!
            27Wave, Munich! all thy banners wave,
            28    And charge with all thy chivalry!

            29  Few, few shall part where many meet!
            30The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
            31And every turf beneath their feet
            32    Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Thomas Campbell. The Complete Poetical Works. Ed. J. Logie Robertson. London: Oxford University Press, 1907. PR 4410 A2 1907.
First publication date: 1802
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP.2.151.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/24

Composition date: 1801

Other poems by Thomas Campbell