|The Wounded Cavalier (1856) William Shakespeare Burton|
The Wounded Cavalier
With scarce strength left sustaining mind and heart,
You move your hand to cover mine with care,
And slowing breaths bestill the lips that part,
To whisper ‘Falls and the day and one so fair.’
Against my hand, his dying breath inside him,
Against my breast, my enemy is spent,
Against my will, there is so much denied him,
My lips to his, his dying breath is rent.
Though enemies, our skin, our blood together,
Should bind us heart and soul, for now, forever.
And so I die, the pain is nought at farrow,
And here I fade, amid the forest lush,
This woman seems so moved at pathos’ arrow,
And casts a tear to fall in deep green hush.
If I had died in town, or at a table,
A wanton beauty laughing on my knee,
But this harsh death, as in the word and fable,
Has honour, sexless glory, destiny.
Stab my heart for cards, for pleasure spent,
Let not my last view be this angel bent.
So dies the last of
England’s tragic folly,
And I shall not a weeping moment spend,
He dies among the ivy and the holly,
He dies so we our country can but mend.
She cries but I have seen too many fall,
She mourns her enemy but I cannot,
A man is dead, I know, but that is all,
My enemy defeated, may he rot.
The headless king can no more see the future,
Than this dead fool, returning now to nature.