Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Poor soul, and lonely,
Thy Father only
Saw thee in mortal

Anguish that night;
Saw, and forgave thee-
Men could not save thee,-
When from its portal

Thy breatlı took flight.

Witli no derision
Of thy misprision
Our pitying vision

On thee doth fall.
Would we might aid thee,
Or could have stryc<l thee,
Ere Want had laid thçe.
Here in Death's hall!

Edmund C. Stcadman,

BATTLE OF FONTENOY.

May 11th. 1715.

Upon the death of Charles VI., Emperor of Austria, in 1740, his daughter Maria Theresa discovered that the sovercigns of Europe, instead of being true to their oaths and to her, made immediate claims upon her territories, and prepared to enforce them by open hostilities. In a short time the question became an European quarrei, to be settled only by the doubtful issue of war. Louis XV. of France and Frederick the Great opposed her, whilst England, Holland, Ilungary, Bavaria, and Hanover, aided her in the protection of those rights which had been guaranteed to her. In prosecution of this war, an army of 79,000 men, commanded by Marshal Saxe, and encouraged by the presence of both King and Dauphin, laid siege to Tournay, early in May 1745. The Duke of Cumberland advanced at the head of 55,000 men, chiefly English and Dutch, to relieve the town. After a fearful and bloody battle, terribly disastrous to both sides, Louis was about to leave the field. In this juncture Saxe ordered up his last reserve--the Irish Brigade. It consisted that day of the regiments of Clare, Lally, Dillon, Berwick, Roth, and Buckley with Fitz James's horse. O'Brien, Lord Clare, was in command. Aided by the French regiments of Normandy and Valsseany, they were ordered to charge upon the flank of the English with fixed bayonets without firing. l'pon the approach of this splendid body of men, the Linglish were halted on 1.o siope of a hill, and up that slope the Brigacie rushed rapidly and in fine

As vainly, through De Barri's wood, the British soldiers burst,
The French artillery drove them back, diminished, and dis-

persed.
The bloody Duke of Cumberland belield with anxious eye,
And ordered up his last reserve, his latest chance to try.
On Fonten

on Fontenoy, how fast his generals ride! And mustering come his chosen troops, like clouds at eventide.

Six thousand English veterans in stately column tread, -
Their cannon blaze in front and flank, Lord Hay is at their

head;
Steady they step adown the slope-steady they climb the hill;
Steady they load-steady they fire, moving right onward still,
Betwixt the wood and Fontenoy, as through a furnace blast,
Through rampart, trench, and palisade, and bullets shower-

ing fast; And on the open plain above they rose and kept their course, With ready fire and grim resolve, that mocked at liostile force: Past Fontenoy, past Fontenoy, while thinner grow their ranks, They break, as broke the Zuyder Zee through Holland's ocean

banks.

More idly than the summer slies, French tirailleurs rush round; As stubble to the lava tide, French squadrons strew the ground; Bomb-shell, and grape, and round-slot tore, still on they

marched and firedFast from each volley, grenadier and voltigeur retired. • “Pushi on, my household cavalry;" King Louis madly cried ; To death they rush, but rude their shock-not unavenged they

died. On through the camp the column trod-King Louis turns his

rein: “Not yet, my liege,” Saxe interposed, "the Irish troops re

main ;'' And Fontenoy, famed Fontenoy, had been a Waterloo, Were not these exiles ready then,-fresh, vehement, and true. “Lord Clare,” he says, "you have your wish, there are your

Saxon foes !" The Marshal almost smiles to sce, so furiously he goes ! Ilow fierce the look these exiles wear, wlio're wont to be so gay, The treasured wrongs of fifty years are in their hearts to-dayThe treaty broken, ere the ink wherewith 'twas writ could dry, Their plundered homes, their ruined shrines, their women's

parting cry, Their priesthood hunted down like wolves, their country over

throw,Each looks, as if revenge for all were staked on him alone. On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, nor ever yet elsewhere, Rushed on to fight a nobler band than these proud exiles were.

[ocr errors]

O'Brien's voice is hoarse with joy, as, halting, he commanis,
“Fix bay nets-Charge!'' Like mountain-storm, rush on

these fiery bands.
Thin is the English column now, and faint their volleys grow,
Yet, must ring all the strength they have, they make a gallant

sliow. They dress their ranks upon the hill to face that battle windTheir bayonets the breakers' foam ; lıke rocks, the men be

hind! One volley crashes from their line, when, through the surging

smoke, With empty guns clutched in their hands, the headlong Irish

broke. On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, hark to that fierce huzza ! “Revenge! remember Limerick ! daslı down the Sassenagh!" Like lions leaping at a fold, when mad with hunger's pang, Right up against the English line the Irish exiles sprang : Bright was their steel, 'uis bloody now, their guns are filled

with gore;

Through shattered ranks, and severed files, and trampled flags

they tore; The English strove with desperato strength, paused, rallied,

staggered, fledThe green hill-side is matted close with dying and with dead; Across the plain, and far away passed on that hideous wrack, While cavalier and fantassin dash in upon their track. On Fontenoy, on Fontenoy, like eagles in the sun, With bloody plumes the Irish stand-the field is fought and won !

Thomas Daris.

"THE IRISII BRIGADE" AT FONTENOY.

By our camp fires rose a murmur,

At the dawning of the day,
And the tread of many footsteps

The green flag is unfolded,

Wie rose the cry of joy,
"Picaveu specii dear Ireland's banner,

To-diy ai Fontenoy."
We looked upon that banner,

And the memory arose
Of our homes and perished kindred,

Where the Lee or Shannon ilows;
We looked upon that banner,

And we swore to God on high,
To smite to-day the Saxon's might,-

To conquer or to die.
Loud swells the charging trumpet, -

'Tis a voice from our own land; God of battles-God of vengeance,

Guide to-day the patriot's brand; There are stains to wash away;

There are memories to destroy, In the best blood of the Driton

To-day at Fontenoy. Plunge deep the fiery rowels

In a thousand recking thanks, -Downl, chivalry of Ireland,

Down on the British ranks : Now shall their serried columns

Beneath our sabres reel, Through their ranks, then, with the war-horso;

Through their bosoms with the steci. With one shout for good King Louis,

And the fair land of the vine, Like the wrathful Alpine tempest,

We swept upon their line, –
Tlien rang along the battle-field

Triumphant our lurralı,
And we smote them down, still cheering

"Erin, slanthagal go bragl."*

As prized as is the blessing

romanul fut long

See their shattered forces flying,

A broken, routed line,
See England, what brive laurels

For your brow to-day we twine.
Oh, thrice bless'd the hour chat witnessed

The Briton turn to flee
From the chivalry of Erin,

And France's " fleur de lis."

As we lay beside our camp fires,

When the sun had passari away,
And thought upon our brethren,

Who had perished in the fray, -
We prayed to God to grant us,

And then we'd die with joy,
One day upon our own dear land
Like this of Fontenoy.

Bartholomew Dowling.

THE WIDOW BEDOTT'S POETRY.

YES,-he was one o' the best men that ever trod shoeleather, husband was, though Miss Jinkins says (she 'twas Poll Bingham,) she says, I never found it out till after he died, but that's the consarndest lie that ever was told, though it's jest a piece with everything else she says about me. I guess if everybody could see the poitry I writ to his memory, nobody wouldn't think I dident set store by him. Want to hear it? Well, I'll see if I can say it; it ginerally affects me wonderfully, seems to harrer up my feelin's; but I'll try. Dident know I ever writ poitry? IIow you talk! used to make lots on't; haint so much late years. I remember once when Parson Potter had a bee, I sent him an amazin' great cheese, and writ a piece o' poitry, and pasted on top on't. It says :

Teach him for to proclaim

Salvation to the folks;
No occasion give for any blame,

Nor wicked people's jokes. And so it goes on, but I guess I won't stop to say thu rest on’t now, seein' there's seven and forty verses.

« ZurückWeiter »