A Harvest of Death

A gallant form is passing by,
The plume bends o’er his lordly brow;
A thousand tongues have raised on high
His song of triumph now.
Young knees are bending round his way,
And age makes bare his locks of gray.

Fair forms have lent their gladdest smile;
White hands have waved the conqueror on,
And flowers have decked his path the while
By gentle fingers strewn.
Soft tones have cheered him, and the brow
Of beauty beams, uncovered now.

The gallant steed treads proudly on;
His foot falls firmly now, as when
In strife that iron heel went down
Upon the breasts of men;
And foremost in the ranks of strife,
Trod out the last dim spark of life.

Dream they of these – the glad, the gay,
That bend around the conqueror’s path:
The horrors of the conflict day,
The gloomy field of death,
The ghostly slain, the severed head,
The raven swooping o’er the dead?

Dark thoughts and fearful! Yet they bring
No terrors to the triumph hour,
Nor stay the reckless worshiping
Of blinded crime and power;
The fair of form, the mild of mood,
Do honor to the men of blood.

Men! Christians! Pause! The air you breathe
Is poisoned by your idol now;
And will ye turn to him, and wreathe
Your chaplets round his brow?
Nay, call his darkest deeds sublime?
And smile assent to giant crime?

– Chambers’ Edinburg Journal

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