John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

Poet's Corner: On the Battle of Hohenlinden

Throughout Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery makes reference to various popular songs and familiar poems — popular and familiar, that is, to people living around the turn of the 20th century. Nowadays they are unpopular and unfamiliar, so I thought it might be fun to feature some of them during the month of March.

On the Battle of Hohenlinden

On Linden when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay th' untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow
        Of Iser rolling rapidly.

But Linden shew'd another sight,
When the drum beat at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
        The darkness of her scenery.

By torch and trumpet-sound array'd,
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neigh'd,
        To join the dreadful revelry.

Then shook the hills with thunder riven,
Then rush'd the steeds to battle driven,
And vollying, like the bolts of heaven,
        Far flash'd the red artillery.

And redder still those fires shall glow,
On Linden's hills of purpled snow;
And bloodier still shall be the flow
        Of Iser rolling rapidly.

'Tis morn; but scarce yon level sun
Can pierce the war-cloud rolling dun,
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
        Shout, mid' their sulphurous canopy.

The combat deepens—on, ye brave!
Who rush to glory and the grave;
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave,
        And charge with all thy chivalry.

Oh! few shall part where many meet,
The snow shall be your winding sheet,
And every turf beneath your feet
        Shall mark the soldiers' cemet'ry.

Thomas Campbell (1777 – 1844)

From Anne of Green Gables, chapter 5: "I can read pretty well and I know ever so many pieces of poetry off by heart — 'The Battle of Hohenlinden' and 'Edinburgh after Flodden,' and 'Bingen of the Rhine,' and most of the 'Lady of the Lake' and most of 'The Seasons' by James Thompson."

Tags: poet's corner
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