The Soldier's Funeral
by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
And the muffled drum rolled on the air,
Warriors with stately step were there;
On every arm was the black crape bound,
Every carbine was turned to the ground;
Solemn the sound of their measured tread,
As silent and slow they followed the dead.
The riderless horse was led in the rear,
There were white plumes waving over the bier;
Helmet and sword were laid on the pall
For it was a soldier's funeral.
That soldier had stood on the battle-plain,
Where every step was over the slain:
But the brand and the ball had passed him by,
And he came to his native land to die.
'Twas hard to come to that native land,
And not clasp one familiar hand!
'Twas hard to be numbered amid the dead,
Or ere he could hear his welcome said!
But 'twas something to see its cliffs once more,
And to lay his bones on his own loved shore;
To think that the friends of his youth might weep
O'er the green grass turf of the soldier's sleep.
The bugles ceased their wailing sound
As the coffin was lowered into the ground;
A volley was fired, a blessing said,
One moment's pause -- and they left they dead! --
I saw a poor and an aged man,
His step was feeble, his lip was wan:
He knelt him down on the new-raised mound,
His face was bowed on the cold damp ground,
He raised his head, his tears were done, --
The father had prayed o'er his only son!
Source:The Poetical Works Of Miss Landon
Phillips, Sampson, And Co.
110 Washington Street