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The French forces were under Marshal Soult. Alison's History of Europe says that Moore “was wrapped by his attendants in his military cloak and laid in a grave hastily formed on the ramparts of Corunna, where a monument was soon after erected over his uncoffined remains by the generosity of the French Marshal Ney. Not a word was spoken as the melancholy interment by torchlight took place; silently they laid him in his grave, while the distant cannon of the battlefield fired the funeral honors to his memory.
“This tomb, originally erected by the French, since enlarged by the British, bears a simple but touching inscription, written of the hero over whose remains it is placed. Few spots in Europe will ever be more the object of general interest. His very misfortunes were the means which procured him immortal fame-his disastrous retreat, bloody death, and finally his tomb on a foreign strand, far from home and friends. There is scarcely a Spaniard but has heard of his tomb and speaks of it with a strange kind of awe.”
Many fantastic legends have grown up among the Spanish people about the tomb and about the manner of the death of the great soldier.
The inscription on the tomb is as follows:
SLAIN IN BATTLE, 1809.
But it is safe to say that the exquisite little poem, The Burial of Sir John Moore, by Rev. Charles Wolfe, has done more to perpetuate the name and fame of Moore than all other things combined.
BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE
Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried ;
The sods with our bayonets turning;
Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him; But he lay, like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
And we bitterly thought of the morrow,
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
And smoothed down his lonely pillow, That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head, And we far away on the billow!
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him;
In the grave where a Briton has laid him!
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock tolled the hour for retiring; And we heard the distant and random gun That the foe was sullenly firing.
8 Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory! We carved not a line, we raised not a stone, But we left him alone in his glory.
THE BURIAL OF MOSES The Burial of Moses is based upon the following beautiful verses from the thirty-fourth chapter of Deuteronomy:
1. And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan,
2. And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea,
3. And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.
4. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, say. ing, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.
5. So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.
6. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
7. And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
8. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
THE BURIAL OF MOSES
There lies a lonely grave;
On this side Jordan's wave,
And no man knows that sepulchre,
And no man saw it e'er, For the angels of God upturned the sod,
And laid the dead man there.
That was the grandest funeral
That ever passed on earth;
Or saw the train go forth,-
Comes back when night is done, And the crimson streaks on ocean's cheek
Grow into the great sun,
Noiselessly as the springtime
Her crown of verdure weaves, And all the trees on all the hills
Open their thousand leaves; So without sound of music,
Or voice of them that wept, Silently down from the mountain's crown
The great procession swept.
Perchance the bald old eagle,
On gray Beth-peor's height, Out of his lonely eyrie,
Looked on the wondrous sight;