Stanzas on War

by John Corry

War! dreadful scourge of Man, appears,
To fill the virgin's eyes with tears,
For her dear youth, untimely slain;
To fill with grief the widow's breast,
Whose warlike husband's relics rest
Beneath the blood-polluted plain.

O! see, engaged in conflict dire,
Involved in sulpherous smoak and fire,
The hostile armies shake the ground;
The storm of Death, tremendous, pours
Swift balls, and the artillery roars,
Like awful Thunder's grating sound.

See yonder stately city stormed,
There, the besieged, with fury warmed,
Repel the foe, who scale the wall;
But they, with fierce, resistless power,
Press onward, amid the leaden shower,
Whilst eager soldiers, fighting, fall.

The city taken, frantic cries
From the unhappy victims rise,
Who sink beneath the piercing blade;
And violated virgins tear
Their tresses, and, in deep despair,
Deplore their chastity betrayed,

Lost is the sweet security,
The village sports, the rural glee,
That once the happy region blessed;
The husbandman and shepherd, now,
Forsake their fleecy charge and plough,
And sanguine thoughts inflame each breast.

What desolation meets the eye -
The towns in frightful ruins lie,
Demolished by destructive War;
And over the landscape, now defaced,
His horrid footsteps may be traced
To where he thunders from afar.

Last updated November 29, 2022