Home > Uncategorized > Mary Barber: The officer’s widow

Mary Barber: The officer’s widow


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

British writers on peace and war

Irish writers on peace and war

Women writers on peace and war


Mary Barber
On seeing an Officer’s Widow distracted who had been driven to Despair, by a long and fruitless Sollicitation for the Arrears of her Pension

O wretch! hath Madness cur’d thy dire Despair?
Yes – All thy Sorrows now are light as Air:
No more you mourn your once lov’d Husband’s Fate,
Who bravely perish’d for a thankless State.
For rolling Years thy Piety prevail’d;
At length, quite sunk – thy Hope, thy Patience fail’d:
Distracted now you tread on Life’s last Stage,
Nor feel the Weight of Poverty and Age:
How blest in this, compar’d with those, whose Lot
Dooms them to Miseries, by you forgot!

Now, wild as Winds, you from your Off-spring fly,
Or fright them from you with distracted Eye;
Rove thro’ the Streets; or sing, devoid of Care,
With ratter’d Garments, and dishevell’d Hair;
By hooting Boys to higher Phrenzy fir’d,
At length you sink, by cruel Treatment tir’d,
Sink into Sleep, an Emblem of the Dead,
A Stone thy Pillow, the cold Earth thy Bed.

O tell it not; let none the Story hear,
Lest Britain’s Martial Sons should learn to fear:
And when they next the hostile Wall attack,
Feel the Heart fail, the lifted Arm grow slack;
And pausing cry – Tho’ Death we scorn to dread,
Our Orphan Off-spring, must they pine for Bread?
See their lov’d Mothers into Prisons thrown;
And, unreliev’d, in iron Bondage groan?

BRITAIN, for this impending Ruin dread;
Their Woes call loud for Vengeance on thy Head:
Nor wonder, if Disasters wait your Fleets;
Nor wonder at Complainings in your Streets:
Be timely wise; arrest th’ uplifted Hand,
Ere Pestilence or Famine sweep the Land.

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 )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: