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The Soldier's Dream was written in Germany, in the year 1800, shortly after a battle between the French and Austrians, near Ratisbon, of which Campbell was a spectator. He thus refers to the scene · Seeing numbers of men strewn dead on the field, or what was worse, seeing them in the act of dying, were so horrible to my memory, that I studied to banish them. At times, when I have been fevered and ill, I have awoke from nightmare, dreaming about these dreadful images.” The poem was not published till the spring of 1804.
The Battle of the Baltic was written in the year 1805, but did not appear till 1808, when it was hailed with the greatest enthusiasm. It was immediately set to music, and was sung by the principal vocalists on every possible occasion.
Riou, “the gallant and the good,” as Lord Nelson styled him in his despatches, was Captain of the Amazon frigate. He was cut in two by a shot.
The Ode on The Burial of Sir John Moore was first published in Currick's Morning Post, in 1815, with the signature “ W. C.” It has been ascribed to various authors, but there can be no doubt of its having been written by the Rev. Charles Wolfe : a letter, addressed by Wolfe to John Taylor, Esq., at the Rev. Mr. Armstrong's, Clonoulty, Cashel, in which he says, “I have completed the 'Burial of Sir John Moore,' and will here inflict it upon you,” and which contains the Ode, is now preserved in the Royal Irish Academy.
Ye Mariners of England is, perhaps, the most celebrated lyric in the English language. Washington Irving speaks of “this exquisite gem,” and the “ Battle of the Baltic,” as two of the noblest songs ever written. composed at Altona, when Campbell was but twenty-three years of age, and appeared first in the Morning Chronicle with the title, “ Alteration of the old
ballad, “Ye Gentlemen of England,' composed on the prospect of a Russian War;" it was signed “ Amator Patriæ."
The often-quoted stanzas, entitled The Night before Waterloo, are from the Third Canto of “Childe Harold.” Sir Walter Scott says, “ I am not sure that any verses in our language surpass, in vigour and in feeling, this most beautiful description.”
On the evening which preceded the battle of Quatre Bras, the Duchess of Richmond gave a ball at Brussels, at which the Duke of Wellington and his general officers attended ; among the company was the Duke of Brunswick, who fell next day.
The wood of Soignies is supposed to be a remnant of the old forest of Ardennes.
The Charge of the Light Brigade is included in this little volume by the kind permission of the Poet Laureate. It was written immediately after the battle of Balaclava, and first appeared in the Examiner, under the initials A. T. It was afterwards printed on a sheet with this note :
“Having heard that the brave soldiers before Sebastopol, whom I am proud " to call my countrymien, have a liking for my Ballad on the Charge of the
Light Brigade at Balaclava, I have ordered a thousand copies of it to be “printed for them. No writing of mine can add to the glory they have acquired in the Crimea; but if what I have heard be true, they will not be
displeased to receive these copies of the Ballad from me, and to know that “ those who sit at home love and honour them. " 8th August, 1855.
“ ALFRED TENNYSON."
The Ode On the Death of the Brave was written in the beginning of the year 1746, in memory of those heroes who fell in defence of their country in the Scotch Rebellion.
, and the Requiem is one of Charles Mackay's "spirited Songs, and is included in our collection the Author's kind permission.
When wild War's deadly blast was blawn is one of Burns' honest, homely ditties, that appeals to every heart,-chosen as an appropriate conclusion to “Songs of the Brave.”
THE BOOK OF CELEBRATED POEMs.-Containing Fortyone of the most popular Poems in the English Language, unabridged. Illustrated by upwards of Eighty Engravings, from Drawings by C. W. Cope, Kenny Meadows, G. Dodgson, and 7. Ferguson. Demy 8vo. cloth elegant, 155. ; morocco extra, 215.
“This singularly beautiful volume, as splendid in appearance as valuable in contents.”—Observer.
Arranged on a plan which we highly commend-gracefully illustratedwell bound-and the result is an unexceptionable volume for the season. Examiner.
"This book, an ornament to any drawing-room, both from its illustration and binding, is something more,-a treasury of delightful and most instructive reading."-Standard.