Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONG FOR THE LONDON VOLUNTEERS, by ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD



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SONG FOR THE LONDON VOLUNTEERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Midst golden streets of commerce
Last Line: To glory or a grave.
Alternate Author Name(s): Aikin, Anna Letitia


Midst golden Streets of Commerce
Why shines the blaze of Arms?
The human hive is stirring,
What cause its peace alarms?

From desk and counter thronging,
From civic feasts and halls,
The Londoners come pouring,
For hark! their country calls.

The thunder of the battle
To them is new and strange;
They're used to the hurry of traffick
And buzz of the crowded 'Change.

They seek not pay or plunder,
They pray that wars may cease;
Their joy is not in slaughter,
For they are sons of peace.

Yet, Frenchmen, dread the onset
When men like these unite;
For they have sworn to perish
Or vanquish you in fight.

Of this land so fair and goodly
Which your ambition craves,
No foot they mean to yield you
But what will find you graves.

Than all your boasted tactics
More strength the thought will lend
That Brother stands by Brother,
And friend supports his friend.

With tears and blessing cover'd
Of Mothers and of Wives,
They go to sell full dearly
Such dearly valued lives.

Their infants smile to see them
In such uncouth attire;
No tongue can tell the fury
Those artless smiles inspire.

Round many an altar kneeling
With fervent lip and eye,
Lo! Sires and Virgins pleading;
Such prayers ascend on high.

Now sound the Trumpets cheerly,
Let all your banners wave;
The Londoners are marching
To Glory or a Grave.





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