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A Whispered Tale
I'd heard fool-heroes brag of where they'd been,
With stories of the glories that they'd seen.
But you, good simple soldier, seasoned well
In woods and posts and crater-lines of hell,
When a man starts out with nothing,
When a man starts out with his hands
Empty, but clean,
When a man starts to build a world,
We Who Stay At Home
When you were just our little boy, on many a night we crept
Unto your cot and watched o'er you, and all the time you slept.
We tucked the covers round your form and smoothed your pillow, too,
And sometimes stooped and kissed your cheeks, but that you never knew.
Edgar Albert Guest
A Good Soldier
He writes to us most every day, and how his letters thrill us!
I can't describe the joys with which his quaint expressions fill us.
He says the military life is not of his selection,
He's only soldiering to-day to give the Flag protection.
Edgar Albert Guest
Listen O! devotees of terror,
The priest of fear, distress and weeping.
Do you know
Those who have the ability to destroy your terror's empire, the eater of your terror's empire.
Auguries Of Innocence
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
After the burial-parties leave
And the baffled kites have fled;
The wise hyaenas come out at eve
To take account of our dead.
The Soldier's Grave
Breathe not a whisper here;
The place where thou dost stand is hallowed ground;
In silence gather near this upheaved mound -
Around the soldier's bier.
“By-and-bye,” the maiden sighed-”by-and-bye
He will claim me for his bride,
Hope is strong and time is fleet;
Youth is fair, and love is sweet,
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Along the narrow Moorish street
A blue-eyed soldier strode.
Veiled from her lashes to her feet
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Darkness: the rain sluiced down; the mire was deep;
It was past twelve on a mid-winter night,
When peaceful folk in beds lay snug asleep;
There, with much work to do before the light,
It's easy to fight when everything's right,
And you're mad with the thrill and the glory;
It's easy to cheer when victory's near,
And wallow in fields that are gory.
The Young British Soldier
When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
The Iliad: Book 03
When the companies were thus arrayed, each under its own captain,
the Trojans advanced as a flight of wild fowl or cranes that scream
overhead when rain and winter drive them over the flowing waters of
Oceanus to bring death and destruction on the Pygmies, and they
O look at the horses and people!
How they hurry and trample and fight!
And the smoke blowing over the steeple,--
O look, how the guns shine bright!
As I was saying . . . (No, thank you; I never take cream with my tea;
Cows weren't allowed in the trenches-got out of the habit, y'see.)
As I was saying, our Colonel leaped up like a youngster of ten:
“Come on, lads!” he shouts, “and we'll show 'em,” and he sprang to the head of the men.
The Unsettled Scores
The men are talking peace at 'ome, but 'ere we're talking fight,
There's many a little debt we've got to square;
A sniper sent a bullet through my bunkie's 'ead last night,
And 'is body's lying somewhere h'over there.
Edgar Albert Guest
Ballad Of The Army Carts
Wagons rattling and banging,
horses neighing and snorting,
conscripts marching, each with bow and arrows at his hip,
fathers and mothers, wives and children, running to see them off--
â??Come, sing a new song to her here while we listen!'
They cry to her sons who sing;
And one sings: ' Mavourneen, it makes the eyes glisten
To think how the sorrows cling,
John Boyle O'reilly
To you, my comrades, whether far or near,
I send this message. Let our past revive;
Come, sound reveille to our hearts once more.
Expecting, I shall wait till at my door
THE SUN had clos'd the winter day,
The curless quat their roarin play,
And hunger'd maukin taen her way,
To kail-yards green,
Endymion: Book Iii
There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men
With most prevailing tinsel: who unpen
Their baaing vanities, to browse away
The comfortable green and juicy hay
When Ruth was left half desolate,
Her Father took another Mate;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted child, at her own will
The Deserted Village
Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheered the labouring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed:
He is that fallen lance that lies as hurled,
That lies unlifted now, come dew, come rust,
But still lies pointed as it ploughed the dust.
If we who sight along it round the world,
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
For To Admire
The Injian Ocean sets an' smiles
So sof', so bright, so bloomin' blue;
There aren't a wave for miles an' miles
Excep' the jiggle from the screw.
The Odyssey: Book 11
Then, when we had got down to the sea shore we drew our ship into
the water and got her mast and sails into her; we also put the sheep
on board and took our places, weeping and in great distress of mind.
Circe, that great and cunning goddess, sent us a fair wind that blew
Sassoon's Public Statement Of Defiance
'I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority, because I believe the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it.
I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that this war, upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation has now become a war of aggression and conquest. I believe that the purposes for which I and my fellow soldiers entered upon this war should have been so clearly stated as to have made it impossible to change them, and that, had this been done, the objects witch actuated us would now be attainable by negotiation.
St. Mark's Day
Oh! who shall dare in this frail scene
On holiest happiest thoughts to lean,
On Friendship, Kindred, or on Love?
Since not Apostles' hands can clasp