James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 3


By Thomas Campbell (1774–1844)

  • A village in Bavaria where the French under Moreau defeated the Austrians under the Archduke John, on Dec. 3, 1800.

  • ON Linden, when the sun was low,

    All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,

    And dark as winter was the flow

    Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

    But Linden saw another sight

    When the drum beat, at dead of night,

    Commanding fires of death to light

    The darkness of her scenery.

    By torch and trumpet fast arrayed,

    Each horseman drew his battle-blade,

    And furious every charger neighed

    To join the dreadful revelry.

    Then shook the hills with thunder riven;

    Then rushed the steeds to battle driven;

    And, louder than the bolts of heaven,

    Far flashed the red artillery.

    But redder yet those fires shall glow

    On Linden’s hills of blood-stained snow,

    And darker yet shall be the flow

    Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

    ’Tis morn; but scarce yon lurid sun

    Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,

    Where furious Frank and fiery Hun

    Shout in their sulphurous canopy.

    The combat deepens. On, ye brave,

    Who rush to glory, or the grave!

    Wave, Munich! all thy banners wave,

    And charge with all thy chivalry!

    Few, few shall part where many meet!

    The snow shall be their winding-sheet;

    And every turf beneath their feet

    Shall be a soldier’s sepulchre.