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Charles Wolfe
1791 - 1823

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son of a landed gentleman in Kildare, was born in Dublin, where he completed his educated at Trinity College, having previously been at Winchester. He took orders, and was Rector of Donoughmere, but his health failed, and he died of consumption at 32. He is remembered for one short, but universally known and admired poem, The Burial of Sir John Moore, which first appeared anonymously in the New Telegraph in 1817.

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The burial of Sir John Moore


The Burial of Sir John Moore

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note
As his corse to the rampart we hurried.
not a soldier discharged hisfarewell shot
Oer the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeams misty light,
And the lantern dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cload around him!
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the facethat was dead
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought as wehollowed hisnarrow bed
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread per his head,
And we far away on the billow!
Lightly theyll talk of the spirit thats gone,
And oer his cold ashes ubbraid him -
But little hell reck, if they him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun,
That the oe was sullenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory.

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2001 Elena and Yakov Feldman