Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SOLDIER'S FUNERAL, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON

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THE SOLDIER'S FUNERAL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: And the muffled drum rolled on the air
Last Line: The father had pray'd o'er his only son!
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Funerals; Soldiers; Burials

AND the muffled drum roll'd on the air,
Warriors with stately step were there;
On every arm was the black crape bound,
Every carbine was turn'd 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 pass'd 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 number'd 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 lower'd into the ground;
A volley was fired, a blessing said,
One moment's pause -- and they left the 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 bow'd on the cold damp ground,
He raised his head, his tears were done, --
The father had pray'd o'er his only son!

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