H. D. Rawnsley

Voices from the Dust, Port Arthur,
January 1, 1905

When in Big Eagle’s Nest, near Erlungshan,
Those gallant generals meeting with stern grace
Spake words of mutual honour face to face,
I saw the sixty thousand from Japan
Whose blood like water on the fierce hills ran,
Rise grimly from each shallow resting-place
And curse the coming of the grey-eyed race
Whose fortress-throne had worked such bitter ban.

‘The snows are white on Fusiyama’s cone,
And soon the almond tree shall break to bloom,
The streets of home will shine with lamps to-night,
We cannot see them—we are robbed of sight—
And exiled here upon these hills of doom
We lie—dumb dust—blind carrion—bleaching bone!’





The Reverend Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley (1851-1920) was graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, Canon of Carlisle, a founder of the British National Trust, and author of among other works The Literary Associations of the English Lakes (1894), Memories of the Tennysons (1900), Ruskin and the English Lakes (1901), and several politely-received collections of verse, usually sonnets, often set in and in praise of the Lake District. ‘Voices from the Dust’ appeared in A Sonnet Chronicle (Glasgow: MacLehose and Sons, 1906).






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