On The Last Regiment

William Roscoe

RELIC of that noble band,
That slumber in their native land,
Blest in death, in battle slain,
On Warsaw's dark ensanguin'd plain,
What time immortal liberty
Bow'd her head to tyranny!
Wretched race! condemn'd to roam
Exiles from your native home;
Condemn'd to stem the western wave,
And crush the pale and struggling slave,
Who dar'd like us to clothe his breast
In Freedom's red and martial vest;
To scorn the tyrant's scowling eye,
And snatch the wreath of liberty!
Oh! had we fallen that direful night,
When Warsaw echo'd with affright,
When, rous'd in horror from her bed,
Her Russian foes by murder led,
She saw in gory troops advance,
And heard the clashing of the lance,
Trembling oft with thrilling fear
At the lightning of the spear;
When death invaded all our towers,
And rapine sack'd our princely bowers;
And, clotted thick with Polish blood,
Our river roll'd a crimson flood;
As gleaming to the cannon's flash,
We saw its waves tumultuous dash!
O happy had we clos'd our eyes
Amidst our dying country's cries!
What now, alas, for us remains,
But scorn, and penury, and chains?
Fellow swordsmen, rally round,
Hush the trumpet's fiery sound;
Hush the shrill fife's Spartan breath,
And shroud the drum in weeds of death!
Fellow warriors! tear, O tear
Your banner bright that woos the air:
Never shall it tarnish'd be
By the hands of slavery!
A captive in the hall of kings,
Ne'er shall the eagle plume his wings;
But feed his green on the ray
And splendour of the rising day;
Longing his heavenly course to run,
And revel in the golden sun!
Native Poland, fare thee well!
Thy future fate, ah, who shall tell?
The god of battle may rise
With vengence on thine enemies!
May bid thee raise thy drooping head
From the dwellings of the dead!
And crown thee, with destin'd hand,
Empress of a blooming land!
But we, alas, must see thee lie
Pining in captivity!
With nothing left but tears, to shed
For valour lost, and freedom fled!

 Back to William Roscoe
Get a free collection of Classic Poetry ↓

Receive the ebook in seconds 50 poems from 50 different authors

To be able to leave a comment here you must be registered. Log in or Sign up.