Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
Waterloo
By Sir Aubrey de Vere (1788–1846)
 
WHY have the Mighty lived—why have they died?
  Is it ever thus with idle wreck to strew
  Fields such as thine, remorseless Waterloo?
Hopeless the lesson! Vainly hath ever cried
Stern Fate to man—‘So perish human pride!’        5
  Still must the Many combat for the Few:
  Still must the noblest blood fair earth bedew:
Tyrants, slaves, freeman, mouldering side by side!
On such a day the World was lost, and won,
  By Pompey at Pharsalia: such a day        10
    Saw glorious Hannibal a fugitive:
So faded ’neath the Macedonian Sun
  Persia’s pale star: so empire passed away
    From Harold’s brow,—but He disdained to live!
 
 
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