Henry Nelson O’Neill (1817-1880). Before Waterloo. 1868. Oil on canvas, 183 x 139.7 cm. Sotheby’s, London; 15-06-2000, lot 42 (Sold £330,000 hammer).
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne’er might be repeated; who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise!
– Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, III: XXIV. 1815.