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Poem by Ebenezer Elliott

Battle Song

Day, like our souls, is fiercely dark;
       What then? Tis day!
We sleep no more; the cock crowshark!
       To arms! away!
They come! they come! the knell is rung
       Of us or them;
Wide oer their march the pomp is flung
       Of gold and gem.
What collard hound of lawless sway,
       To famine dear
What pensiond slave of Attila,
       Leads in the rear?
Come they from Scythian wilds afar,
       Our blood to spill?
Wear they the livery of the Czar?
       They do his will.
Nor tasselld silk, nor epaulet,
       Nor plume, nor torse
No splendour gilds, all sternly met,
       Our foot and horse.
But, dark and still, we inly glow,
       Condensed in ire!
Strike, tawdry slaves, and ye shall know
       Our gloom is fire.
In vain your pomp, ye evil powers,
       Insults the land;
Wrongs, vengeance, and the Cause are ours,
       And Gods right hand!
Madmen! they trample into snakes
       The wormy clod!
Like fire, beneath their feet awakes
       The sword of God!
Behind, before, above, below,
       They rouse the brave;
Whereer they go, they make a foe,
       Or find a grave.

Ebenezer Elliott

Ebenezer Elliott's other poems:
  1. Roch Abbey
  2. Don and Rother
  3. The Maltby Yews
  4. Plumpton
  5. Win-Hill

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