1815
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Lines on the Battle of Waterloo.]

St. James's Chronicle and London Evening Post (2 September 1815).

Rev. William Lisle Bowles


An adaptation of William Collins's "How Sleep the Brave" performed at a memorial service to aid the widows and orphans of Waterloo. Walter Scott's The Field of Waterloo (1815) was composed for the same occasion. An altogether different, belligerently patriotic version of this poem was published in George Gilfillan's edition of Bowles's Poetical Works (1855): "Hymn for Music, after the Battle of Waterloo."

Headnote: "The following Lines, composed by the Rev. Mr. Bowles, were sung at his Parish Church of Bremhill, Wiltshire, at the collection made for the relief of the Widows and Orphans of the brave men who fell in the battle of Waterloo."



"How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!"
When cold upon the distant plain
The soldier lies mid heaps of slain,
We call on thee, O God, to bless
The widow'd and the fatherless.

Behold — behold the orphan's tear;
The sighs of mourning mothers hear;
And while, to soothe their bitter woe,
Compassion shall her mite bestow,
Still let them kneel before Thy throne,
And seek — seek peace from thee alone!

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