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From The International Library of Masterpieces, Literature, Art, & Rare Manuscripts, Volume XXX, Editor-in-Chief: Harry Thurston Peck; The International Bibliophile Society, New York; 1901; pp. 11176-11177.




WOLFE, CHARLES, a British poet; born at Dublin, December 14, 1791; died at Cork, February 21, 1823. He was graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1814, was tutor there, and, taking orders in 1817, became curate at Ballyclog, and subsequently rector at Donoughmore. He wrote an ode on the death of Sir John Moore, which has become celebrated. His “Remains,” with a Memoir, were published by Archdeacon John Russell (1825).


NOT a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
     As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot,
     O’er the grave where our hero was 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,
     Nor in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
     With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
     And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
     And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed
     And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,
     And we far away on the billow.

Lightly they ’ll talk of the spirit that ’s gone,
     And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him —
But little he ’ll reck, if they let him sleep on
     In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half our heavy task was done
     When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun
     That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
     From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, we raised not a stone —
     But we left him alone in his glory.

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