Some poetry: After the Battle

Posted on Sep 4, 2009

by the Irish poet Thomas Moore

I've never been an avid reader of poetry, though I have read some and I've had some friends who were published poets. I see poetry as the very heart and soul of any good song. I like songs that tell a story, and while I find I really enjoy prose stories, the craft of condensing a tale into a few short verses (with meter and rhyming to boot!) is certainly one I can admire. I took a quick look into the work of some Irish poets on lunch today and very soon found an example of a poem I liked. This one is by Thomas Moore who lived from 1779-1852 and is probably better known for another poem of his - The Minstrel Boy. I'm also a big fan of instrumental music (no words), of course.

Night closed around the conqueror's way,
And lightnings show'd the distant hill,
Where those who lost that dreadful day
Stood few and faint, but fearless still.
The soldier's hope, the patriot's zeal,
For ever dimm'd, for ever crost --
Oh! who shall say what heroes feel,
When all but life and honour's lost?

The last sad hour of freedom's dream,
And valour's task, moved slowly by,
While mute they watch'd, till morning's beam
Should rise and give them light to die.
There's yet a world, where souls are free,
Where tyrants taint not nature's bliss; --
If death that world's bright opening be,
Oh! who would live a slave in this?