'They run! they run!'-'Who run?' Not they
Who faced that decimating fire
As coolly as if human ire
Were rooted from their hearts;
They run, while he who led the way
So bravely on that glorious day,
Burns for one word with keen desire
Ere waning life departs!

'They run! they run!'-'Who run?' he cried,
As swiftly to his pallid brow,
Like crimson sunlight upon snow,
The anxious blood returned;
'The French! the French!' a voice replied,
When quickly paled life's ebbing tide,
And though his words were weak and low
His eye with valour burned.

'Thank God! I die in peace,' he said;
And calmly yielding up his breath,
There trod the shadowy realms of death
A good man and a brave;
Through all the regions of the dead,
Behold his spirit, spectre-led,
Crowned with the amaranthine wreath
That blooms not for the slave.

More verses by Charles Sangster