Lines on a Dead Soldier.

Wreck of a warrior pass’d away,1
Thou form without a name !2
Which thought and felt but yesterday,3
And dreamt of future fame.4
Stripped of thy garments, who shall guess5
Thy rank, thy lineage, and race ?6
If haughty chieftain holding sway,7
Or lowlier destined to obey !8
The light of that fixed eye is set,9
And all is moveless now,10
But passion’s traces linger yet,11
And lower upon that brow :12
Expression has not yet wax’d weak,13
The lips seem e’en in act to speak,14
And clenched the cold and lifeless hand,15
As if it grasped the battle brand.16
Though from that head, late towering high,17
The waving plume is torn,18
And low in dust that form doth lie,19
Dishonour’d and forlorn,20
Yet death’s dark shadow cannot hide21
The graven characters of pride,22
That on the lip and brow reveal23
The impress of the spirit’s seal.24
Lives there a mother to deplore25
The son she ne’er shall see ?26
Or maiden, on some distant shore,27
To break her heart for thee ?28
Perchance to roam a maniac there,29
With wild-flower wreaths to deck her hair,30
And through the weary night to wait31
Thy footsteps at the lonely gate.32
Long shall she linger there, in vain33
The evening fire shall trim,34
And gazing on the darkening main,35
Shall often call on him36
Who hears her not—who cannot hear :37
Oh ! deaf for ever is the ear38
That once in listening rapture hung39
Upon the music of her tongue !40
Long may she dream—to wake is woe !41
Ne’er may remembrance tell42
Its tale to bid her sorrows flow,43
And hope to sigh farewell ;44
The heart, bereaving of its stay,45
Quenching the beam that cheers her way46
Along the waste of life—till she47
Shall lay her down and sleep like thee !48