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Record 12880

Reading Experience:

[Carlyle transcribes a poem by John Leyden he has read in Hogg's 'Spy' and sends it to Robert Mitchell] 'Well, if I am not much deceived you will thank me, for transcribing you the following poem of his, composed on (Wellington, then) Wellesl[e]y's victory at Assaye, while Leyden was in India. -I met with it in "the Spy" a kind of periodical thing published the other year in Edinr.' Shout, Britons, for the battle of Assaye; For that was a day, When we stood in our array, Like the Lion's might at bay; And our battle-word was CONQUER OR DIE Rouse, rouse the cruel leopard from his lair, With his yell the mountain rings; And his red eye round he flings, As arrow-like he springs, And spreads his clutching paw to rend and tear. Then first array'd in battle front we saw, Far as the eye could glance, The Mahratta banners dance, O'er the desolate expanse And their standard was the leopard of Malwa. But when we first encounter'd man to m[an] Such odds came never on, Against Greece or Macedon, When they shook the Persian throne, Mid the old barbaric pomp of Ispahan. No number'd might of living could tam[e] Our gallant band that broke Through the bursting clouds of smoke, When the vollied thunder spoke From a thousand mouldering mouths of lurid fla[me] Hail, Wellesl[e]y who led the mortal fray Amid the locust swarm, Dark fate was in thy arm; And thy shadow shall alarm The Mahratta at thy name, from this day. Ah! Mark these British corses on the plain, Each vanish'd like a star, 'Mid the dreadful ranks of war, While the women stood afar, And gaz'd in silent terror at the slain. Shout, Britons, for the battle of Assaye; Ye who perish'd in your prime, Your hallow'd names sublime, Shall live to ceaseless time; Your heroic worth and fame shall never die. Can any thing be grander? - what fire! what energy! -if there is any thing in existence that surpasses this, it must be Hoenli[nden]?but what is like Hoenlinden? -Tell me in your next, what you think of this piece - Is not, think you, "From a thousand mouldering mouths of lurid flame" misprinted somehow? would "smouldering" do any better?'
Century: 1800-1849
Date: Between 1 Jan 1810 and 30 Apr 1814
Country: Scotland
Time: n/a
Place: city: Edinburgh
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Thomas Carlyle
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 4 Dec 1795
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: teacher, later man of letters
Religion: Christian
Country of origin: Scotland
Country of experience: Scotland
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: John Leyden
Title: 'Shout, Britons, for the Battle of Asaye'
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Serial / periodical
Publication details: published in 'The Spy' (1810-11)
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 12880  
Source - Print  
  Author: n/a
  Editor: Charles Richard Sanders
  Title: The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle
  Place of Publication: Durham, NC
  Date of Publication: 1970
  Vol: I
  Page: 10-11
  Additional comments: Letter to Robert Mitchell

Citation: Charles Richard Sanders (ed.), The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (Durham, NC, 1970), I, p. 10-11,, accessed: 13 April 2024

Additional comments:



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)