Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
 
Battle Song
By Ebenezer Elliott (1781–1849)
 
DAY, like our souls, is fiercely dark;
    What then? ’Tis day!
We sleep no more; the cock crows—hark!
    To arms! away!
They come! they come! the knell is rung        5
    Of us or them;
Wide o’er their march the pomp is flung
    Of gold and gem.
What collared hound of lawless sway,
    To famine dear—        10
What pensioned slave of Attila,
    Leads in the rear?
Come they from Scythian wilds afar,
    Our blood to spill?
Wear they the livery of tie Czar?        15
    They do his will.
Nor tasselled silk, nor epaulette,
    Nor plume, nor torse—
No splendour gilds, all sternly met,
    Our foot and horse.        20
But, dark and still, we inly glow,
    Condensed in ire!
Strike, tawdry slaves, and ye shall know
    Our gloom is fire.
In vain your pomp, ye evil powers,        25
    Insults the land;
Wrongs, vengeance, and the cause are ours,
    And God’s right hand!
Madmen! they trample into snakes
    The wormy clod!        30
Like fire, beneath their feet awakes
    The sword of God!
Behind, before, above, below,
    They rouse the brave;
Where’er they go, they make a foe,        35
    Or find a grave.
 
 
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