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Poem by Thomas Campbell


THE LAST, the fatal hour is come,
  That bears my love from me:
I hear the dead note of the drum,
  I mark the gallows tree!

The bell has tolled; it shakes my heart;
  The trumpet speaks thy name;
And must my Gilderoy depart
  To bear a death of shame?

No bosom trembles for thy doom,
  No mourner wipes a tear;
The gallows foot is all thy tomb,
  The sledge is all thy bier.

O Gilderoy! bethought we then
  So soon, so sad to part,
When first in Roslins lovely glen
  You triumphed oer my heart?

Your locks they glittered to the sheen,
  Your hunter garb was trim;
And graceful was the ribbon green
  That bound your manly limb!

Ah! little thought I to deplore
  Those limbs in fetters bound;
Or hear, upon the scaffold floor,
  The midnight hammer sound.

Ye cruel, cruel, that combined
  The guiltless to pursue;
My Gilderoy was ever kind,
  He could not injure you!

A long adieu! but where shall fly
  Thy widow all forlorn,
When every mean and cruel eye
  Regards my woe with scorn?

Yes! they will mock thy widows tears,
  And hate thine orphan boy;
Alas! his infant beauty wears
  The form of Gilderoy.

Then will I seek the dreary mound
  That wraps thy mouldering clay,
And weep and linger on the ground,
  And sigh my heart away.

Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell's other poems:
  1. Napoleon and the British Sailor
  2. Chaucer and Windsor
  3. Field Flowers
  4. Poland
  5. The Exile of Erin

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