His cheek was pale as marble, and as cold;
But his lip trembled not, and his dark eyes
Glanced proudly round. But when they bared his breast
For the death-shot, and took a portrait thence,
He clenched his hands, and gasped, and one deep sob
Of agony burst from him; and he hid
His face awhile—his mother's look was there.
He could not steel his soul when he recalled
The bitterness of her despair. It passed—
That moment of wild anguish; he knelt down;
That sunbeam shed its glory over one,
Young, proud, and brave, nerved in deep energy;
The next fell over cold and bloody clay....
The Deserter from The London Literary Gazette (8th June 1822) Poetic Sketches. Second Series - Sketch the Sixth - The Improvisatrice (1824)