Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Lines Suggested By The War In The Crimea, 1854

Flapping fierce her gory pinions,
Whetting sharp her crimson beak,
Vulture War her barbarous minions,
Calls her ghastly prey to seek.
Now her hideous form comes swooping
From the thundering ramparts' height,
O'er the carnaged valley stooping,
Gorged with slaughter-horrid sight!
Shot and shell, the dark air rending-
Sulphurous flash, and bayonet's gleam-
Shouts and shrieks, and groans wild blending,
With her loud discordant scream.
High the purple tide is swelling,
O'er the dark ensanguined plain,
From a thousand bosoms welling,
Mangled limbs and shattered brain!
Oh! for angel eye and station,
Far above the battle-cloud,
Whence I'd view the dread migration
Of the unbodied spirit crowd!
Through eternity's dark portals
To the abodes of weal or woe,
Swiftly rush the new immortals-
Lord, how long shall it be so?
Summerland-Oh! beauteous region,
Rich in foliage, flowers, and fruit,
Shall the foe, whose name is Legion,
Keep and tread thee under foot?
Round thy leaguered port and city
Volleying thunders ceaseless roar,
Earth affords not aid or pity-
They shall fall to rise no more!
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