19th Century

A Lay from the Trenches: A Poem of the Crimean War (1855) | P. J. Questel

‘A Lay from the Trenches’ was a poem, written in 1855, by a soldier serving in the Crimean War. It was first published in the London Journal and has been transcribed by Stephen Basdeo.[1]

We have the vigour yet,

That nerv’d our sires of yore:

Resolved alike through good and ill,

The same high mission to fulfil,

We’ll suffer what they bore.

Did Alma’s heights belie,

The current in our veins?

Or blanch’d a cheek, or quail’d an eye

Of that doom’d band that rush’d to die,

On Balaclava’a plains?

Or, through the misty morn,

When yelling hordes stole on,

Had gory Inkermann no voice,

To bid our country’s heart rejoice

For each undaunted son?

Let cravens prate of ill—

Their treason we deplore;

For we’ve the British vigour still,

Our sacred mission to fulfil,

That nerv’d our sires of yore!

[1] P.J. Questel, ‘A Lay from the Trenches’, London Journal, 3 March 1855, 15.

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