Open main menu

Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/450

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
416
POEMS 1814-1816.

The blood which flowed with Wallace flows as free,
But now 'tis only shed for Fame and thee!
Oh! pass not by the northern veteran's claim,
But give support—the world hath given him fame!


The humbler ranks, the lowly brave, who bled
While cheerly following where the Mighty led—[1]
Who sleep beneath the undistinguished sod
Where happier comrades in their triumph trod,
To us bequeath—'tis all their fate allows—
The sireless offspring and the lonely spouse:
She on high Albyn's dusky hills may raise
The tearful eye in melancholy gaze,
Or view, while shadowy auguries disclose
The Highland Seer's anticipated woes,
The bleeding phantom of each martial form
Dim in the cloud, or darkling in the storm;[2]
While sad, she chaunts the solitary song,
The soft lament for him who tarries long—
For him, whose distant relics vainly crave
The Coronach's wild requiem to the brave!


'Tis Heaven—not man—must charm away the woe,
Which bursts when Nature's feelings newly flow;

  1. [As an instance of Scottish gallantry in the Peninsular War it is sufficient to cite the following list of "casualties" at the battle of Vittoria, June 21, 1813: "The battalion [the seventy-first Highland Light Infantry] suffered very severely, having had 1 field officer, 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, 6 sergeants, 1 bugler, and 78 rank and file killed; 1 field officer, 3 captains, 7 lieutenants, 13 sergeants, 2 buglers, and 255 rank and file were wounded."—Historical Record of the 71st Highland Light Infantry, by Lieut. Henry J. T. Hildyard, 1876, p. 91.]
  2. [Compare Temora, bk. vii., "The king took his deathful spear, and struck the deeply-sounding shield.... Ghosts fled on every side, and rolled their gathered forms on the wind.—Thrice from the winding vale arose the voices of death."—Works of Ossian, 1765, ii. 160.]