Sunday 14 June 2015

On the Field of Waterloo


At the present moment [June 1915], when the nations of Europe are in the throes of a world-embracing war, it may be of interest to read the following impression of Waterloo, written by the Rev. Dr. Morris, of Philadelphia, about two years ago, on the occasion of a visit to that classic spot. It is also of some interest to Belfast Presbyterians from the fact of the recent announcement that May Street congregation propose to present a unanimous call to the talented author of the verses.

The Battle of Waterloo, 18 June 1815 by Denis Dighton

This, then, is Waterloo,
     Beneath this rising mound, this Lion's seat,
Was the last stand of that Old Guard which knew
     All that it meant to die, but did not know defeat.

Here in this hollow road
    The mailed Cuirassier and his bold steed
Fell to their death where scarlet rivers flowed.
    And cannons roared above, and bullets shrieked their creed.

The Iron Duke here stood;
    And yonder field where now waves ripening wheat—
'Twas there Napoleon turning saw the flood
    Of victory ebb in one long wave of dark defeat.

This very dust below
    Mayhap was once instinct with valorous life;
Asleep and peaceful now are friend and foe;
    Who knows which dust was French, which English, in that strife?

O God! And this is war!
    Ten thousand widows weep on England's shore.
Ten thousand more upon the banks of Loire,
    Whilst orphan'd children cry for those who come no more.

O Christ! teach us to love
    Our brothers near at hand and those afar;
Rule, Prince of Peace, from Thy high throne above.
    And end this reign of Hate, with all its murderous war.

The Witness, 11th June 2015

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