Lines on the death of Lieutenant Wynniatt

Along with the numerous articles which circulated in Canadian newspapers about the death of Wenman Wynniatt, this touching poem was written on May 18, 1841 (170 years ago today) appearing in the London Gazette.

Despite our best attempts to learn who wrote this fitting piece, its author’s identity remains a mystery.

The sound of merry music
Still hung upon the air;
But the voice of joy, and gladness-
Where are they now, oh where?

The smile that played upon each face,
Is frozen ere it fled,
For one, the brightest of them all,
Is numbered with the dead.

Aye, look upon him now and weep,
Check not the rising tear,
That one so fair, so young, should lie
Stretched on his lonely bier.

And can it be, that those he loved
Lie hushed in slumbers deep,
While the treach’rous waters dancing by,
Lull him to his long last sleep.

Ah! who shall tell the tale of woe
To those far, far away,
Who ne’er again shall see the form
They clasped but yesterday.

And who will bear to look upon
The Father’s swimming eye,
The Mother’s and the sisters look
Of silent agony.

Set not thy hopes on things on earth,
For all we see must die,
And like that loved and manly form,
Pale, cold and lifeless, lie.

But may our heart’s affections soar
To a better land than this,
And all we’ve lost may we there meet
In everlasting bliss.

L.E.
(Author unknown)
London Gazette, May 18, 1841

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About Misstoricalfiction

Historian, researcher and writer specializing in historical fiction with a supernatural twist. By day marketing specialist in the insurance industry.

Posted on May 18, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love to read those poems of a certain period for the lovely shape of the words. Their authors surely thought long and hard to come up with just the right turn.
    You have intrigued me with your talk of Eldon House.

    I have another question for you. Do you know anything about Elsie Perrin Williams? (estate in London)
    My mother-in-law’s name was Jane Perrin Williams and the similarity has always intrigued us.

    • Thanks Elaine!
      Yes, I love how this poem was so specific to the circumstances surrounding his death and those left behind. When I first read it I really teared up, because I had thought about his family in England and how they must have felt… and how Sarah must have felt knowing his body was floating in the river while she slept snug in her bed…not that she got much sleep that night I’m sure. This is why I’ve fallen in love with their story, both the historical facts and all the unknowns in-between.

      To answer your question, most of what I know about the Perrin Williams’ is through the info about the building. Just a little ways from the house there’s a lookout point which has stone benches and gravemarkers for their many beloved pets.

      Elsie Perrin was the only child of Daniel S. Perrin of the Perrin Biscuit Co.
      She married Dr. Hadley T. Brinsmead Williams in 1903, he was born in Torrington, Devon, on Feb. 14, 1868. Dr. Williams was a prominent surgeon at the University of Western Ontario and Victoria Hospital. While the Williams were abroad in England during the First World War, Elsie had the old Victorian home demolished and in its place the present Windermere home was built. The Windermere property was her father’s gift to them for their wedding (nice gift!).

      Here’s a link I found on Dr. Williams –
      And a link to the site about the house –

      The London Heritage Foundation who runs the house also has a Genealogy library that may have more information on this family.
      Hope this helps in some way!!

  2. I should also add that Elsie was an only child, and she and her husband also had no children. It certainly would be interesting though to see if you share either the Perrin or Williams name with them!

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