Letitia Elizabeth Landon


The Battle-Field

by Letitia Elizabeth Landon

He sleeps -- the night wind o'er the battle-field
Is gently sighing;
Gently, though each breeze bear away
Life from the dying.

He sleeps, -- though his dear and early friend
A corpse lies by him;
Though the ravening vulture and screaming crow
Are hovering nigh him.

He sleeps, -- where blood has been poured like rain,
Another field before him:
And he sleeps as calm as his mother's eyes
Were watching o'er him.

To-morrow that youthful victor's name
Will be proudly given,
By the trumpet's voice, and the soldier's shout,
To the winds of heaven.

Yet life, how pitiful and how mean,
Thy noblest story;
When the high excitement of victory,
The fullness of glory,

Nor the sorrow felt for the friend of his youth,
Whose corpse he is keeping,
Can give his human weakness force
To keep from sleeping.

And this is the sum of our mortal state,
The hopes we number,
Feverish, waking, danger, death,
And listless slumber.


The Poetical Works Of Miss Landon
Copyright 1853
Phillips, Sampson, And Co.
110 Washington Street