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Poem by John Mayne


The Muffled Drum


Ah me! how sorrowful and slow,
    With arms revers'd, the soldiers come
Dirge-sounding trumpets, full of woe,
    And, sad to hear, the Muffled Drum!

Advancing to the House of Pray'r,
    Still sadder flows the dolesome strain;
Ev'n Industry forgets her care,
    And joins the melancholy train!

O! after all the toils of war,
    How blest the brave man lays him down!
His bier is a triumphal car
    His grave isglory and renown!

What tho' nor friends nor kindred dear,
    To grace his obsequies, attend?
His comrades are his brothers here,
    And ev'ry hero is his friend!

See Love and Truth, all woe begone;
    And beauty, drooping in the crowd
Their thoughts intent on him alone
    Who sleeps for ever in his shroud!

Again, the trumpet slowly sounds
    The Soldier's last Funeral Hymn:
Again the muffled drum rebounds,
    And ev'ry eye with grief is dim!

The gen'rous steed, which late he rode,
    Seems, too, its master to deplore;
And follows to his last abode
    The warriorwho returns no more!

For him, far hence, a mother sighs,
    And fancies comforts yet to come!
He'll never bless her longing eyes
    She'll only hear the Muffled Drum!



                      John Mayne


John Mayne's other poems:
  1. The Curieux
  2. Helen of Kirkconnel
  3. Mary Marton
  4. To the Army and Navy Returning from the War
  5. English, Scots, and Irishmen


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