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After the Battle

by
 Night closed around the conqueror's way, 
And lightnings show'd the distant hill, 
Where those who lost that dreadful day 
Stood few and faint, but fearless still.
The soldier's hope, the patriot's zeal, For ever dimm'd, for ever crost -- Oh! who shall say what heroes feel, When all but life and honour's lost? The last sad hour of freedom's dream, And valour's task, moved slowly by, While mute they watch'd, till morning's beam Should rise and give them light to die.
There's yet a world, where souls are free, Where tyrants taint not nature's bliss; -- If death that world's bright opening be, Oh! who would live a slave in this?

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