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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Sidenote Dear Harp of My Country Tom Moore


"Dear Harp of My Country"]

Tom Moore, while a very popular poet, produced few poems of lasting quality. Most characteristic of Moore, perhaps, are his lightest verses, such as "The Time I Lost in Wooing," the melodious lines "Oft, in the Stilly Night," or the famous Irish apostrophe:

Dear Harp of my Country! in darkness I found thee, The cold chain of silence had hung o'er thee long, When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee, And gave all thy chords to light, freedom, and song!

The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness Have waken'd thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill; But, so oft hast thou echoed the deep sigh of sadness, That ev'n in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.

Dear Harp of my Country! farewell to thy numbers, This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine! Go, sleep with the sunshine of Fame on thy slumbers, Till touch'd by some hand less unworthy than mine;

If the pulse of the patriot, soldier, or lover, Have throbb'd at our lay, 'tis thy glory alone; I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over, And all the wild sweetness I wak'd was thine own.

[Sidenote: Death of Wellington]

[Sidenote: Wellesley's campaigns]

The death

of Wellington, on September 14, was felt as a national loss in England. The Iron Duke died in his eighty-fourth year, having grown more and more infirm in his last few years. Arthur Wellesley, or Wesley, as the name was originally written, singularly enough received his first military education in France, under the direction of Pignorel, the celebrated engineer. He saw his first active service with the Duke of York's disastrous expedition to the Netherlands in 1794. There he gained his colonelcy. After his transfer to India he served under his elder brother, Marquis Wellesley, and gained the brilliant victories of Assaye and of Argaum. On his return from India he was appointed Secretary of Ireland, and there established the celebrated police force which later served as a model for that of London. In 1807, he took part in the expedition against Copenhagen, and after the death of Sir John Moore was sent to Portugal, where he won the battles of Rolica, Vimiera, the brilliant passage of the Douro, and the hard-fought field of Talavera. The battle of Busaco, the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, the victories of Salamanca and Vittoria, followed, and the Viscount successively became Earl and Marquis of Wellington, and a grant from Parliament subsequently placed him in possession of the domain of Strathfieldsaye. The capture of Pampeluna and St. Sebastian, and the defeat of the French in the passes of the Pyrenees, enabled him to plant the British ensign on French ground.

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