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Thomas Osbert Mordaunt

1730–1809. British officer and poet.

At a Glance

Rilla of Ingleside (1)

The Call (1791 poem)

Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife!
   Throughout the sensual world proclaim,
One crowded hour of glorious life
   Is worth an age without a name. (Full text)

Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 11 (“one crowded hour of glorious life was worth an age without a name”).

Note

This frequently anthologized quatrain is from a much longer poem, entitled “A Poem, Said to Be Written by Major Mordaunt during the Last German War,” published in the 12 October 1791 issue of The Bee, or Literary Weekly Intelligencer, a periodical published in Edinburgh.

Source

Thomas Osbert Mordaunt, “The Call,” in The Oxford Book of English Verse, chosen and edited by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, new edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1940), p. 552. Online at https://archive.org/details/oxfordbookofen1940quil/.