Thomas Osbert Mordaunt

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Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730–1809) was a British officer and poet, known for "The Call".

Mordaunt was the son of Charles Mordaunt, also a soldier. His grandfather, Brigadier-General Lewis Mordaunt, was the younger brother of Charles Mordaunt, 3rd Earl of Peterborough, sometime First Lord of the Treasury.[1][2]

Mordaunt is best remembered for his oft-quoted poem "The Call", written during the Seven Years' War of 1756–1763:

"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."

For many years, the poem was incorrectly attributed to Mordaunt's contemporary, Sir Walter Scott. Scott had merely quoted a stanza of the poem at the beginning of Chapter 34 of his novel Old Mortality.[3]

One Crowded Hour, Tim Bowden's biography about the Australian combat cameraman Neil Davis, takes its title from a phrase used in "The Call".


  1. ^ The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom: Moels to Nuneham, G. E. Cokayne, The St Catherine Press, 1936, pg 203
  2. ^ URL: Date accessed: 1 Dec 2017
  3. ^ "Glory", Wikiquote website. Accessed on 2015-01-08.

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