The Mameluke Charge Poem by Francis Hastings Charles Doyle

The Mameluke Charge

LET the Arab courser go
Headlong on the silent foe!
Their plumer may shine like mountain snow,
Like fire their iron tubes may glow,
Their cannon death on death may throw,
Their pomp, their pride, their strength, we know,
But let the Arab courser go!
The Arab horse is free and bold,
His blood is noble from of old,
Through dams, and sires, many a one,
Up to the steed of Solomon.
He needs no spur to rouse his ire,
His limbs of beauty never tire,
Then, give the Arab horse the rein,
And their dark squares will close in vain.
Though loud the death-shot peal, and louder,
He will only neigh the prouder;
Though nigh the death-flash glare, and nigher,
He will face the storm of fire ;
He will leap the mound of slain,
Only let him have the rein.
The Arab horse will not shrink back,
Though death confront him in his track ;
The Arab horse will not shrink back.
And shall his rider's arm be slack?
No!--By the God who gave us life,
Our souls are ready for the strife.
We need no serried lines to show
A gallant bearing to the foe
We need no trumpet to awake
The thirst, which blood alone can slake.
What is it that can stop our course,
Free riders of the Arab horse ?
Go--brave the desert wind of fire;
Go--beard the lightning's look of ire;
Drive back the ravening flames, which leap
In thunder from the mountain-steep;
But dream not, men of fifes arid drums,
To stop the Arab when he comes:
Not tides of fire, not walls of rock,
Could shield you from that earthquake shock.
Come, brethren, come, too long we stay,
The shades of night have rolled away,
Too fast the golden moments fleet,
Charge, ere another pulse has beat;
Charge- like the tiger on the fawn,
Before another breath is drawn!

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