Farewell To Colonel Law (James Murphy)

Long, long may the hero who caused it enjoy
The fruit of his labors so nobly won
At battles and sieges that might rival Troy,
Where thousands sank low
on each night with the sun.

With Moore at Corunna he broke his first lance,
And encircled his brow with his first laurel bay;
And at every engagement with chivalrous France
Was the hero a victor till Waterloo day.

Proud must he be with all others who knew him,
To see his bold race now ascending to fame,
In the valor of sons that already have shown us
That a Law is courageous by valor and name.

Reluctantly say we farewell with a blessing
To our brave old Commander so loyal and true,
Long, long may he live to enjoy the caressing
Of his lady and daughters so lonely, adieu.

Blest was the day you landed upon my native Isle,
In all your speculations
may fair fortune on you smile;
May you have health and length of days
with your dear family,
And all these blessings
then descend to your posterity.

####.... Anonymous ....####
Printed in St John's in 1912 on p.9 of Old Songs Of Newfoundland published by James Murphy [1867-1931].

James Murphy's Publisher's Notes:
Colonel Law, who for many years was in command of the soldiers stationed at St John's, was promoted to Major-General and left the country in 1859. He was a distinguished soldier, having fought in the Peninsular Wars and at Waterloo. The gallant Colonel was given a great send off by his many admirers at St John's. This song was written on the occasion. Colonel Law was an Irishman by birth.

From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online 1871-1880 (Vol X) by Frederic F Thompson © 2000 University of Toronto:
Robert Law [1788-1880] - army officer and colonial administer from England. When Robert Law was 20 years old he joined the British army in Spain as a volunteer just in time to take part in Sir John Moore's action at Lugo and the retreat from Corunna. He returned to Spain and until 1814 fought in numerous campaigns, receiving several serious wounds. In July 1814 he was embarked for New Orleans, but was recalled and sent to Belgium where he served in the campaigns of 1815. He fought at Waterloo as a lieutenant in Sir Frederick Adair's brigade, was again seriously wounded, and was awarded the Waterloo Medal. Law remained in France with the army of occupation until 1818, and subsequently served 15 years in the colonies, including the West Indies, before being sent to Newfoundland. He became a captain in October 1821, a major in August 1834, and was promoted lieutenant-colonel in 1844. He probably came to Newfoundland in 1834, the same year as Governor Henry Prescott, for he was reported to have held the post of commandant of the garrison for 25 years when he departed in 1859. On his promotion to major-general in 1859 Law was obliged to relinquish his command, and return to England. A subscription of £100 sterling was raised for a commemorative plate which was presented to him by a group of prominent citizens with a commendation for his services to the colony. He was elevated to lieutenant-general in 1868.

From the Military History Encyclopedia on the Web:
¹ Skirmish at Lugo, Spain
(7-8 January, 1809) - closest the British and French came to fighting a full scale battle during Sir John Moore's retreat to Corunna over the winter of 1808-1809.
² Battle Of Corunna, Spain (12-18 January, 1809) - marked the final fight during Sir John Moore's retreat from Spain, effectively saving the only field army the British possessed at the time, and fatally disrupting Napolean's own campaign in Spain, preventing him from moving into Portugal. General Moore was fatally wounded on the 14th by a French cannon ball which hit his left shoulder. He was removed to the rear, and survived long enough to know that the battle had been won.

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