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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Russia: Vol. XX. 1876–79.


Grave of Howard

By William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)

HOWARD! it matters not that far away

From Albion’s peaceful shore thy bones decay:

Him it might please, by whose sustaining hand

Thy steps were led through many a distant land,

Thy long and last abode should there be found,

Where many a savage nation prowls around:

That Virtue from the hallowed spot might rise,

And, pointing to the finished sacrifice,

Teach to the roving Tartar’s savage clan

Lessons of love, and higher aims of man.

The hoary chieftain, who thy tale shall hear,

Pale on thy grave shall drop his faltering spear;

The cold, unpitying Cossack thirst no more

To bathe his burning falchion deep in gore;

Relentless to the cry of carnage speed,

Or urge o’er gasping heaps his panting steed!

Nor vain the thought that fairer hence may rise

New views of life and wider charities.

Far from the bleak Riphean mountains hoar,

From the cold Don, and Wolga’s wandering shore,

From many a shady forest’s lengthening tract,

From many a dark-descending cataract,

Succeeding tribes shall come, and o’er the place,

Where sleeps the general friend of human race,

Instruct their children what a debt they owe;

Speak of the man who trode the paths of woe;

Then bid them to their native woods depart,

With new-born virtue stirring in their heart.

When o’er the sounding Euxine’s stormy tides

In hostile pomp the Turk’s proud navy rides,

Bent on the frontiers of the Imperial Czar,

To pour the tempest of vindictive war;

If onward to those shores they haply steer,

Where, Howard, thy cold dust reposes near,

Whilst o’er the wave the silken pennants stream,

And seen far off the golden crescents gleam,

Amid the pomp of war, the swelling breast

Shall feel a still unwonted awe impressed,

And the relenting Pagan turn aside

To think,—on yonder shore the Christian died.