Francis Hastings Charles Doyle

Francis Hastings Charles Doyle Poems

LAST night, among his fellow roughs,
He jested, quaff'd, and swore;
A drunken private of the Buffs,
Who never look'd before.

JULY 9th, 1856.
YES, they return--but who return?
The many or the few?
Clothed with a name, in vain the same;

Right on our flank the crimson sun went down,
The deep sea rolled around in dark repose,
When, like the wild shriek from some captured town,

LET the Arab courser go
Headlong on the silent foe!
Their plumer may shine like mountain snow,
Like fire their iron tubes may glow,

Francis Hastings Charles Doyle Biography

Sir Francis Hastings Doyle (1810–1888) was a British poet, Doyle was born near Tadcaster, Yorkshire, to a military family which produced several distinguished officers, including his father, who bore the same name. He was educated at Eton and Oxford. Studying law, he was called to the Bar in 1837, and afterwards held various high fiscal appointments, becoming in 1869, Commissioner of Customs. In 1834 he published Miscellaneous Verses, followed by Two Destinies (1844), Oedipus, King of Thebes (1849), and Return of the Guards (1866). He was elected in 1867 Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Doyle's best work is his ballads, which include The Red Thread of Honour, The Private of the Buffs, and The Loss of the Birkenhead. In his longer poems his genuine poetical feeling was not equalled by his power of expression, and much of his poetry is commonplace. Doyle's daughter Mary married Charles Carmichael Lacaita, MP and botanist.)

The Best Poem Of Francis Hastings Charles Doyle

The Private Of The Buffs

LAST night, among his fellow roughs,
He jested, quaff'd, and swore;
A drunken private of the Buffs,
Who never look'd before.
To-day, beneath the foeman's frown,
He stands in Elgin's place,
Ambassador from Britain's crown
And type of all her race.

Poor, reckless, rude, low-born, untaught,
Bewilder'd, and alone,
A heart with English instinct fraught
He yet can call his own.
Aye, tear his body limb from limb,
Bring cord, or axe, or flame:
He only knows, that not through him
Shall England come to shame.

Far Kentish hop-fields round him seem'd,
Like dreams, to come and go;
Bright leagues of cherry-blossom gleam'd,
One sheet of living snow;
The smoke above his father's door
In grey soft eddyings hung:
Must he then watch it rise no more,
Doom'd by himself, so young?

Yes, honour calls! - with strength like steel
He puts the vision by.
Let dusky Indians whine and kneel;
An English lad must die.
And thus, with eyes that would not shrink,
With knee to man unbent,
Unfaltering on its dreadful brink,
To his red grave he went.

Vain, mightiest fleets of iron framed;
Vain, those all-shattering guns;
Unless proud England keep, untamed,
The strong heart of her sons.
So, let his name through Europe ring-
A man of mean estate,
Who died, as firm as Sparta's king,
Because his soul was great.

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