1793 26

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Lines by John Gabriel Stedman
John Gabriel Stedman
The Journal of John Gabriel Stedman, 1744-1797, Soldier and Author
Ed. Stanbury Thompson (London: 1962), p. 347 [1]

. . . . . . . . . . . the combined crew
they joyn, they thicken, and that land renew
Unnerved, th' embodied French, their fury dare
And fix'd support the weight of all the war.
Nor could the French repel the Allied powers,
Nor the bold Allied forces, the Gaelic[2] towers,
As on the confines of adjoyning grounds,
Two stubborn swains with blows dispute their bounds.

They tugg, they sweat, but neither gain nor yield
One foot, one inch, of the contended field.
Thus obstinate, to death they fight, they fall,
Nor there can keep, now[3] there can win the wall.
Their manly breasts are pierced with many a wound,
Loud strokes are heard, and rattling arms resound.
The copious slaughter covers all the shore,
And the high ramparts drop with human gore.


1. The entry for December 31, 1793 reads "I will parody and end the year, the bloody year, with the following lines in Homer's Illiad. XII. 13."

2. Probably should read "Gallic."

3. Probably should read "nor."

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