of Sir John Moore at Corunna,
by Rev. Charles Wolfe (1791-1823)
Not a drum was heard, not a
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Nor a solider discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero was buried.
We buried him darkly at the
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
Nor in sheet nor shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gaz'd on the face that was dead;
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought, as we hollow'd his
And smooth'd down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'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 upbraid him;
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun
Of the enemy, sullenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line and we raised not a stone -
But we left him along with his glory.
Taken from 'Coast of
Conflict' by Michael & Martin George.