Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

On The Field Of Waterloo


So then, the name which travels side by side
With English life from childhood—Waterloo—
Means this. The sun is setting. “Their strife grew
Till the sunset, and ended,” says our guide.
It lacked the “chord” by stage-use sanctified,
Yet I believe one should have thrilled. For me,
I grinned not, and 'twas something;—certainly
These held their point, and did not turn but died:
So much is very well. “Under each span
Of these ploughed fields” ('tis the guide still) “there rot
Three nations' slain, a thousand-thousandfold.”
Am I to weep? Good sirs, the earth is old:
Of the whole earth there is no single spot
But hath among its dust the dust of man.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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