John Augustus Shea

Richard Ryan, "John Augustine O'Shea" Poetry and Poets: being a Collection of the choicest Anecdotes relative to the Poets of every Age and Nation (1826) 2:139-41.

This bard has not yet reached his twenty-fourth year; but, perhaps, has written more in the short space since his poetical talents have developed themselves than any of his contemporaries in the same period. The circumstances of Greece, and the glorious struggle which that too-long oppressed and degraded country has made to acquire her freedom, have been objects of particular attention to Mr. O'Shea, and his Muse has been principally employed in celebrating the modern triumphs of that regenerated country. The annexed specimen evinces considerable nerve, and true poetic feeling.

'Twas morn, and the mountain peaks
Were visor'd with purple light,
When the deep glen rung,
And the war shout sprung,
Unbroken from height to height.

Each Suliote knew the sound
That summon'd his ready brand,
And they rush'd along
With their rough war-song,
Like waves to a stormy strand.

The Arnaut host had reach'd
A pass of the guarded glen,
When the loud steel clash'd,
And the hot blood plash'd,
In the trample of mighty men.

Thro' th' Albanese reeling ranks
The conquering men rush'd down,
As wild winds sweep
Thro' the forests deep,
When the Autumn leaves are brown.

There were blood-fill'd turbans there,
And many a bleeding brand
Was scatter'd around
The reeking ground,
Fast clench'd in the lifeless hand.

And the countless crescents that shone
Thro' billows of boiling blood,
Seem'd so broken and bright,
Like reflected light,
On the eve-empurpled flood.

Then shout for the Suliote men,
Besprent with that gory rain,
As lions appear
When the slaughter'd deer
Lie strew'd on the smoking plain.

They stood like their own wild hills,
Unhurt while the tempest rides,
While the lightning flash
And the thunders crash
Around their mighty sides.