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Shoshee Chunder Dutt on Patriotism

Heard ye that lofty pealing sound
⁠Upon the balmy air,
The exulting shout that best proclaims
⁠The deeds which heroes dare?

In triumph blow their trumpets proud,
⁠The clouds repeat their voice;
Go, greet the laurell’d victors home,
⁠And bid our realms rejoice.

Let poets tune their golden harps,
⁠Let maidens wear their smile,
And young and old their cares lay by,
⁠And cease to mourn awhile.

What! hear’st thou not their joyous din?
⁠Behold, above the vale,
Their haughty plumes and ensigns red
⁠Are fluttering in the gale;

And helmets cleft, and canvas torn,
⁠Proclaim the fighting done;
And neighing steeds, and bloody spears,
⁠Announce the battle won.

Alas! the vision mocks my sight;
⁠I see no gallant throng,
No trophies meet my longing eyes;
⁠Bid cease the joyous song.

That recreant slave is not my lord;
⁠Ne’er thus the brave return;
Go, bid the city-gates be barr’d,
⁠And leave me lone to mourn.

I know him not, I never knew
⁠A low, ignoble love;
My warrior sleeps upon the moor,
⁠His soul hath soar’d above.

Upon the battle-field he lies,
⁠His garments stain’d with gore;
With sword in hand prepared he sleeps
⁠To fight the battle o’er.

His shiver’d shield, his broken spear,
⁠Around him scatter’d lie;
The iron-breasted Moslems shook
⁠To see my hero die.

Where helmets rang, where sabres smote,
⁠He found his gory bed;
Join, mourners, join, and loudly raise
⁠The requiem of the dead.

Expel yon vile impostor hence;
⁠I will not trust his tale;
Our warriors on the crimson field
⁠Their chieftain’s loss bewail.

*******

The mountain torrent rushing down

Can ne’er its course retrace,

And souls that speed on glory’s path

Must ever onward press:

Aye, onward press — to bleed and die,

Triumphant still in death:

Imposter, hence! in other lands

Go draw thy coward breath.

May 2020 update: in my original post, I had only included the last 2 paragraphs of The Warrior Returns. 

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