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Thomas Osbert Mordaunt

1730–1809. British officer and poet.

At a Glance

Chronicles of Avonlea (1)
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)

Chronicles of Avonlea, “The Hurrying of Ludovic” (“’twas a crowded hour of glorious life”).
Rilla of Ingleside, chapter 11 (“one crowded hour of glorious life was worth an age without a name”).


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.


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

Published on 16 October 2020; last updated on 6 March 2021. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.