REST awhile, disabled soldier!
Here some short refreshment take;
’Tis not fit thou travel further,
Sure thy wearied limbs must ache.
Many a rude and rough encounter
Has thy dauntless breast withstood;
Mark’d with scars—thy pallid features
Tell me thou hast lost much blood.
Well I know the various hardships
Soldiers brave are doom’d to share:
Oft unheeded by commanders,
Who a different burden bear.
I have led to dreadful combat
Troops that nobly scorn’d to yield;
While the OUZBEK’s* savage numbers
Vainly strove to gain the field.
Grateful still do I remember,
Wounded, sinking, ’midst the foe,
One much like thee, gallant soldier!
Saved me from the threaten’d blow:
Smote the arm that raised the sabre
Ruthless aim’d against my life;
Bore me fainting from the conflict;
Then resumed the work of strife.
Never could I find the warrior,
Who thus nobly succour’d me:
But if I mistake not, Soldier!
Thy bold visage, thou art he!
‘Valiant leader of the faithful,
Much I joy, this day, to know,
That the efforts of my duty
Saved thee from the raging foe.
‘In that day of dreadful slaughter
Many a valiant MOSLEM* fell:
This sait-numa* then thou gavest me,
Mark’d the fatal hour too well.
‘Three long years have followed mournful,
Since recovering from my wounds,
Home I sought—but home I found not:
Fate had run his gloomy rounds.
‘LOVE my soul had long united
To a kind and gentle fair:
And one pledge of fond affection
Raised our hopes, and claim’d our care.
‘But, alas! life’s fairy prospects
Pass like summer clouds away.
What is permanent around us,
Who can claim the coming day?
‘Grief, that flow’d from fatal tidings,
Led my sweet love to the tomb;
And the darling boy was quickly
Hurried to some unknown doom.
‘Thus afflicted, still I wander,
With an almost broken heart:
SORROW more than wounds o’erwhelms me,
DOUBT still points AFFLICTION’s dart.
‘What tho’ POVERTY assail me,
Strength destroy’d and spirits fled;
Could I hear my boy were living,
Joy would raise this drooping head.’
Raise it then, long-suffering soldier,
Falshood shall not here beguile;
Heaven ordains the sun of FORTUNE
On thy opening views to smile.
GRATITUDE, of gold unsparing,
Bids thy wants exist no more.—
Cease to sigh—a few short moments
Shall thy long-lost child restore.
Not a little vagrant idler,
But endued with worth and sense:
Well instructed—grateful for it:
He thy love shall recompence.
‘Gracious ALLAH!’ cried the soldier,
I’am raised to life again.
Worldly glories fleet like shadows,
GOOD DEEDS evermore remain.’