Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TEARS OF SCOTLAND, by TOBIAS GEORGE SMOLLETT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE TEARS OF SCOTLAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Mourn, hapless caledonia, mourn / thy banished peace, thy laurels torn!
Last Line: Thy banished peace, thy laurels torn.'
Subject(s): Mourning; Scotland; Soldiers; Tears; War; Bereavement

MOURN, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banished peace, thy laurels torn!
Thy sons, for valour long renowned,
Lie slaughtered on their native ground;
Thy hospitable roofs no more
Invite the stranger to the door;
In smoky ruins sunk they lie,
The monuments of cruelty.

The wretched owner sees afar
His all become the prey of war;
Bethinks him of his babes and wife,
Then smites his breast, and curses life.
Thy swains are famished on the rocks,
Where once they fed their wanton flocks:
Thy ravished virgins shriek in vain;
Thy infants perish on the plain.

What boots it then, in every clime,
Through the wide-spreading waste of time,
Thy martial glory, crowned with praise,
Still shone with undiminished blaze?
Thy tow'ring spirit now is broke,
Thy neck is bended to the yoke.
What foreign arms could never quell.
By civil rage and rancour fell.

The rural pipe and merry lay
No more shall cheer the happy day:
No social scenes of gay delightBeguile the dreary winter night:
No strains but those of sorrow flow,
And naught be heard but sounds of wee,
While the pale phantoms of the slain
Glide nightly o'er the silent plain.

O baneful cause, oh, fatal morn,
Accursed to ages yet unborn!
The sons against their fathers stood,
The parent shed his children's blood.
Yet, when the rage of battle ceased,
The victor's soul was not appeased;
The naked and forlorn must feel
Devouring flames, and murd'ring steel!

The pious mother doomed to death,
Forsaken, wanders o'er the heath.
The bleak wind whistles round her head,
Her helpless orphans cry for bread;
Bereft of shelter, food, and friend,
She views the shades of night descend,
And, stretched beneath th' inclement skies,
Weeps o'er her tender babes, and dies.

While the warm blood bedews my veins,
And unimpaired remembrance reigns,
Resentment of my country's fate
Within my filial breast shall beat;
And, spite of her insulting foe,
My sympathizing verse shall flow:
'Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banished peace, thy laurels torn.'

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