Epitaph on General Wolfe

Mr Porden

Written in the year 1773 since corrected and altered

Sacred to Patriot-Virtue and renown!
Raised by his weeping country, and adorned
With sculptured wreaths and Wolfe’s illustrious name,
This marble stands. In prime of life he led
Her veteran sons — her champion and her pride!
On Abraham’s Heights, the doubtful battle hung
In dreadful balance, when the hero’s eye
Advanc’d to heaven in speechless wishes, caught
A radiant form, that hovering o’er his head
Cry’d, “Die victorious or defeated live.”
“Victory and death,” he said, then calmly urged
Through all the terrors of the well-fought field
His country’s cause — he conquer’d — and he died.

This marble, Britain! must resign his name
By envious time eras’d. Deep on the hearts
Of all thy sons, thro’ every rising race
Record his virtue, victory and fall;
That when, in righteous war, to them thy king
Consigns his armies, each may emulate
Wolfe’s bright perfections, generous, brave, humane,
Firm in the fight, in danger undismayed,
To death devoted, if their death secure
To thee with glory, liberty and peace.