Henry James Pye

(20 February 1745 – 11 August 1813 / London, England)

The War-Elegies Of Tyrtæus, Imitated: Elegy Iv. - Poem by Henry James Pye

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On him shall fame, shall endless glory wait,
Him future ages crown with just applause,
Who boldly daring in the field of fate
Falls a pure victim in his country's cause.
Ah! view yon hapless fugitives who leave
Their seats paternal, and their native sky,
And the full breast in silent sorrow heave
Beneath the galling load of penury.
O'er distant realms who wretched exiles roam,
Perhaps an aged parent's footsteps guide,
Far from their social hearths, and much-loved home,
To meet the taunt of scorn, the frown of pride.
Who wander friendless on a foreign shore,
From foreign hands who ask precarious life,
And prostrate see at Avarice' iron door,
A helpless offspring and a weeping wife.
Thro' hostile regions as they sorrowing go
Tho' pity's bounteous hand afford relief,
In the moist eyelid of the generous foe
Contempt is mingled with the tear of grief.
Far be from us such shame—No! We can die,
Can perish bravely in the glorious strife,
Or guard this hallow'd seat of liberty,
Guard every social charity of life.
Arm youthful warriors! arm! in Britain's right,
Advance, a martial, and a patriot band,
Disdaining pallid fear and shameful flight,
Point the long lance, and lift the shining brand.
Spring ardent to the front, and court the fray,
Nor let the veteran warrior worn with age
Full in the vaward of the bright array
Provoke the war and sink beneath its rage.
The sight unfitting, ill becomes the plain
When bath'd in blood and seam'd with many a wound,
Vent'rous advanced before the youthful train
The venerable fathers press the ground.
But in life's blooming spring the warrior's form
Still charms, tho' fate untimely steal the breath,
Like flowers uprooted by the vernal storm,
In ruin sweet, and beauteous even in death.
While friendship gives the precious balm of praise,
Beauty shall pour her still more precious tear,
A people's voice the hymn of triumph raise,
A people's sorrows sanctify his bier.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 27, 2010



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