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.
London Gazette, May 18, 1841