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Death Of Captain Cooke,
(1762 - 1850 / England)

Death Of Captain Cooke,

Poem By William Lisle Bowles

OF 'THE BELLEROPHON,' KILLED IN THE SAME BATTLE.

When anxious Spain, along her rocky shore,
From cliff to cliff returned the sea-fight's roar;
When flash succeeding flash, tremendous broke
The haze incumbent, and the clouds of smoke,
As oft the volume rolled away, thy mien,
Thine eye, serenely terrible, was seen,
My gallant friend.--Hark! the shrill bugle calls,
Is the day won! alas, he falls--he falls!
His soul from pain, from agony release!
Hear his last murmur, Let me die in peace!
Yet still, brave Cooke, thy country's grateful tear,
Shall wet the bleeding laurel on thy bier.
But who shall wake to joy, through a long life
Of sadness, thy beloved and widowed wife,
Who now, perhaps, thinks how the green seas foam,
That bear thy victor ship impatient home!
Alas! the well-known views,--the swelling plain,
Thy laurel-circled home, endeared in vain,
The brook, the church, those chestnuts darkly-green,
Yon fir-crowned summit, and the village scene,
Wardour's long sweep of woods, the nearer mill,
And high o'er all, the turrets of Font Hill:
These views, when summer comes, shall charm no more
Him o'er whose welt'ring corse the wild waves roar,
Enough: 'twas Honour's voice that awful cried,
Glory to him who for his country died!
Yet dreary is her solitude who bends
And mourns the best of husbands, fathers, friends!
Oh! when she wakes at midnight, but to shed
Fresh tears of anguish on her lonely bed,
Thinking on him who is not; then restrain
The tear, O God, and her sad heart sustain!
Giver of life, may she remember still
Thy chastening hand, and to thy sovereign will
Bow silently; not hopeless, while her eye
She raises to a bright futurity,
And meekly trusts, in heaven, Thou wilt restore
That happiness the world can give no more!

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