POEM CRITICISED BY U. OF
Prof. W. I. Thomas of the University of Chicago is protesting against poets and historians who distort the facts of history. On Wednesday he pointed out Charles Wolfe, the author of "The Burial of Sir John Moore," as an example in point. "In this poem," says Prof. Thomas, "the author speaks of services being held at night, when we know they were at 8 o’clock in the morning." Here is the poem:
Not a drum was hear, not a funeral note,
As his corpse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly, at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning;
By the struggling moonbeams’ misty light,
And the lanterns dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay, like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,
And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone,
And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him;
But little he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him!
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock struck the hours for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was suddenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory!
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory.