Lines by a Lady of this Town

Supposed to be written by a young Lady of this Town, upon reading the following passage in our last paper: “They poured upon our troops a shower of grape and musket shot that brought to the ground some of our bravest men.”

Then he is fallen! for he was brave!
My WILLY sinks among the dead!
His cold limbs press no friendly grave,
But night’s damp winds blow round his head!

Fallen is my love! and low he lies!
Ah! had this cheek his pale cheek prest;
These fingers clos’d his fading eyes;
And claspt him to my faithful brest!

My WILLY’s fallen! for he was brave!
Ah! Why my love was I not there!
Thy face with Sorrow’s drops to leave,
And bathe thee with my fallen tear.

Yes, he was brave! and now lies low —
Heavens why am I so far away!
Why must I not the soft mould show
Upon my WILLY’s lifeless clay!

He’s fallen! He’s fallen! for he was brave!
His limbs unbury’d yet remain:
Heaven grant the little boon I crave —
– Why ask the boon! ‘tis all in vain,

To see that youth, who once was brave!
O’er his lov’d form to sit and weep;
And bid in peace his spirit sleep.


Printed in the Sheffield Register No. 312, 24 May 1793 (currently held in Sheffield University Library Special Collections)

Click here to read a brief commentary on the poem.