The Captive Trumpeter

by William Somervile

William Somervile

A PARTY of hussars, of late,
For prog and plunder scour'd the plains,
Some French gens d' armes surpris'd and beat,
And brought their trumpeter in chains.

In doleful plight the unhappy bard
For quarter begg'd on bended knee,
" Pity, Messieurs! in truth 'tis hard
To kill a harmless enemy:

These hands, of slaughter innocent,
Ne'er brandish'd the destructive sword;
To you or yours no hurt I meant;
O! take a poor musician's word. "

But the stern foe, with generous rage,
" Scoundrel! " replied, " thou first shalt die,
Who, urging others to engage,
From fame and danger basely fly.

The brave by law of arms we spare,
Thou by the hangman shalt expire;
'Tis just, and not at all severe,
To stop the breath that blew the fire. "

Last updated January 14, 2019