Home > Uncategorized > Charlotte Turner Smith: The lawless soldiers’ victims

Charlotte Turner Smith: The lawless soldiers’ victims

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

Charlotte Turner Smith: Statesmen! ne’er dreading a scar, let loose the demons of war

Charlotte Turner Smith: Thus man spoils Heaven’s glorious works with blood!

Charlotte Turner Smith: To bathe his savage hands in human blood

====

Charlotte Turner Smith
Fragment
Descriptive of the miseries of War; from a Poem
called “The Emigrants,” printed in 1793

To a wild mountain, whose bare summit hides
Its broken eminence in clouds; whose steeps
Are dark with woods: where the receding rocks
Are worn with torrents of dissolving snow;
A wretched woman, pale and breathless, flies,
And, gazing round her, listens to the sound
Of hostile footsteps:­ No! they die away­
Nor noise remains, but of the cataract,
Or surly breeze of night, that mutters low
Among the thickets, where she trembling seeks
A temporary shelter. ­Clasping close
To her quick throbbing heart her sleeping child,
All she could rescue of the innocent group
That yesterday surrounded her. ­Escaped
Almost by miracle!­ Fear, frantic Fear,
Wing’d her weak feet; yet, half repenting now
Her headlong haste, she wishes she had staid
To die with those affrighted Fancy paints
The lawless soldiers’ victims­. Hark! again
The driving tempest bears the cry of Death;
And with deep, sudden thunder, the dread sound
Of cannon vibrates on the tremulous earth;
While, bursting in the air, the murderous bomb
Glares o’er her mansion. ­Where the splinters fall
Like scatter’d comets, its destructive path
Is mark’d by wreaths of flame!­ Then, overwhelm’d
Beneath accumulated horror, sinks
The desolate mourner!

The feudal chief, whose gothic battlements
Frown on the plain beneath, returning home
From distant lands, alone, and in disguise,
Gains at the fall of night his castle walls,
But, at the silent gate no porter sits
To wait his lord’s admittance!­In the courts
All is drear stillness!­ Guessing but too well
The fatal truth, he shudders as he goes
Through the mute hall; where, by the blunted light
That the dim moon through painted casement lends,
He sees that devastation has been there;
Then, while each hideous image to his mind
Rises terrific, o’er a bleeding corse
Stumbling he falls; another intercepts
His staggering feet. ­All, all who used to
With joy to meet him, all his family
Lie murder’d in his way!­ And the day dawns
On a wild raving maniac, whom a fate
So sudden and calamitous has robb’d
Of reason; and who round his vacant walls
Screams unregarded, and reproaches Heaven!

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: