Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BATTLE FIELD, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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THE BATTLE FIELD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It was a battle field, and the cold moon
Last Line: And listless slumber.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The


It was a battle field, and the cold moon
Made the pale dead yet paler. Two lay there;
One with the ghastly marble of the grave
Upon his face; the other wan, but yet
Touch'd with the hues of life, and its warm breath
Upon his parted lips.

HE sleeps, -- the night wind o'er the battle feld
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 pour'd like rain,
Another field before him;
And he sleeps as clam 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 fulness of glory,

Nor the sorrow felt for the friend of his youth,
Whose corpse he's 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.





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