My very excellent brother-in-law, Seaforth, late of the Bombay Fencibles, (lucky dog to have quitted the service before this shocking Afghan business!) seems to have been even more forcibly affected on the evening when he so narrowly escaped being locked in at Westminster Abbey, and when -- but let him describe his own feelings, as be has done, indeed, in the subjoined
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A feeling sad came o'er me as I trod the sacred ground
Where Tudors and Plantagenets were lying all around:
I stepp'd with noiseless foot, as though the sound of mortal tread
Might burst the bands of the dreamless sleep that wraps the mighty dead!
The slanting ray of the evening sun shone through those cloisters pale,
With fitful light on regal vest, and warrior's sculptured mail,
As from the stain'd and storied pane it danced with quivering gleam,
Each cold and prostrate form below seem'd quickening in the beam.
Now, sinking low, no more was heard the organ's solemn swell,
And faint upon the listening ear the last Hosanna fell:
It died -- and not a breath did stir;-- above each knightly stall
Unmoved, the banner'd blazonry hung waveless as a pall.
I stood alone!-- a living thing 'midst those that were no more --
I thought on ages past and gone -- the glorious deeds of yore --
On Edward's sable panoply, on Cressy's tented plain,
The fatal Roses twined at length -- on great Eliza's reign.
I thought on Naseby -- Marston Moor -- on Worc'ster's 'crowning fight;'
When on mine ear a sound there fell -- it chill'd me with affright,
As thus in low, unearthly tones I heard a voice begin,
'-- This here's the Cap of Giniral Monk!-- Sir! please put summut in!' . . .