Poem Hunter
The Retreat From Moscow
(1797 - 1884 / Northampton, North Carolina)

The Retreat From Moscow

Poem By George Moses Horton

Sad Moscow, thy fate do I see,
Fire! fire! in the city all cry;
Like quails from the eagle all flee,
Escape in a moment or die.

It looks like the battle of Troy,
The storm rises higher and higher;
The scene of destruction all hearts must annoy,
The whirlwinds, the smoke, and the fire.

The dread conflagration rolls forth,
Augmenting the rage of the wind,
Which blows it from south unto north,
And leaves but the embers behind.

It looks like Gomorrah; the flame
Is moving still nigher and nigher,
Aloud from all quarters the people proclaim,
The whirlwinds, the smoke, and the fire.

A dead fumigation now swells,
A blue circle darkens the air,
With tones as the pealing of bells,
Farewell to the brave and the fair.

O Moscow, thou city of grace,
Consign'd to a dread burning pyre,
From morning to ev'ning with sorrow I trace
The wild winds, the smoke, and the fire.

The dogs in the kennel all howl,
The wether takes flight with the ox,
Appal'd on the wing is the fowl,
The pigeon deserting her box.

With a heart full of pain, in the night
Mid hillocks and bogs I retire,
Through lone, deadly vallies I steer by its light,
The wild storm, the smoke, and the fire.

Though far the crash breaks on my ear,
The stars glimmer dull in the sky,
The shrieks of the women I hear,
The fall of the kingdom is nigh.

heaven, when earth is no more,
And all things in nature expire,
May I thus, with safety, keep distant before
The whirlwinds, the smoke, and the fire.

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