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Captain Sword and Captain Pen A Poem   By: (1784-1859)

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First Page:

[Illustration: [ To face the Title. ]

CAPTAIN SWORD AND CAPTAIN PEN.

=A Poem.=

BY LEIGH HUNT.

WITH SOME REMARKS ON

WAR AND MILITARY STATESMEN.

If there be in glory aught of good, It may by means far different be attained, Without ambition, war, or violence. MILTON.

LONDON:

CHARLES KNIGHT, LUDGATE STREET.

1835.

TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE

LORD BROUGHAM AND VAUX,

WITH WHOM THE WRITER HUMBLY DIFFERS ON SOME POINTS,

BUT DEEPLY RESPECTS FOR HIS MOTIVES ON ALL;

GREAT IN OFFICE FOR WHAT HE DID FOR THE WORLD,

GREATER OUT OF IT IN CALMLY AWAITING HIS TIME TO DO MORE;

THE PROMOTER OF EDUCATION; THE EXPEDITER OF JUSTICE;

THE LIBERATOR FROM SLAVERY;

AND (WHAT IS THE RAREST VIRTUE IN A STATESMAN)

ALWAYS A DENOUNCER OF WAR,

=These Pages are Inscribed=

BY HIS EVER AFFECTIONATE SERVANT,

Jan. 30, 1835. LEIGH HUNT.

ADVERTISEMENT.

This Poem is the result of a sense of duty, which has taken the Author from quieter studies during a great public crisis. He obeyed the impulse with joy, because it took the shape of verse; but with more pain, on some accounts, than he chooses to express. However, he has done what he conceived himself bound to do; and if every zealous lover of his species were to express his feelings in like manner, to the best of his ability, individual opinions, little in themselves, would soon amount to an overwhelming authority, and hasten the day of reason and beneficence.

The measure is regular with an irregular aspect, four accents in a verse, like that of Christabel, or some of the poems of Sir Walter Scott:

Càptain Swòrd got ùp one dày And the flàg full of hònour, as thòugh it could feèl

He mentions this, not, of course, for readers in general, but for the sake of those daily acceders to the list of the reading public, whose knowledge of books is not yet equal to their love of them.

[Illustration:

STEPPING IN MUSIC AND THUNDER SWEET, WHICH HIS DRUMS SENT BEFORE HIM INTO THE STREET. Canto I. p. 1.]

CAPTAIN SWORD AND CAPTAIN PEN.

I.

HOW CAPTAIN SWORD MARCHED TO WAR.

Captain Sword got up one day, Over the hills to march away, Over the hills and through the towns, They heard him coming across the downs, Stepping in music and thunder sweet, Which his drums sent before him into the street. And lo! 'twas a beautiful sight in the sun; For first came his foot, all marching like one, With tranquil faces, and bristling steel, And the flag full of honour as though it could feel, And the officers gentle, the sword that hold 'Gainst the shoulder heavy with trembling gold, And the massy tread, that in passing is heard, Though the drums and the music say never a word.

And then came his horse, a clustering sound Of shapely potency, forward bound, Glossy black steeds, and riders tall, Rank after rank, each looking like all, Midst moving repose and a threatening charm, With mortal sharpness at each right arm, And hues that painters and ladies love, And ever the small flag blush'd above.

And ever and anon the kettle drums beat Hasty power midst order meet; And ever and anon the drums and fifes Came like motion's voice, and life's; Or into the golden grandeurs fell Of deeper instruments, mingling well, Burdens of beauty for winds to bear; And the cymbals kiss'd in the shining air, And the trumpets their visible voices rear'd, Each looking forth with its tapestried beard, Bidding the heavens and earth make way For Captain Sword and his battle array... Continue reading book >>




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