O What Is That Sound
O what is that sound which so thrills the ear
Down in the valley drumming, drumming?
Only the scarlet soldiers, dear,
The soldiers coming.
O what is that light I see flashing so clear
Over the distance brightly, brightly?
Only the sun on their weapons, dear,
As they step lightly.
O what are they doing with all that gear,
What are they doing this morning, morning?
Only their usual manoeuvres, dear,
Or perhaps a warning.
O why have they left the road down there,
Why are they suddenly wheeling, wheeling?
Perhaps a change in their orders, dear,
Why are you kneeling?
O haven't they stopped for the doctor's care,
Haven't they reined their horses, horses?
Why, they are none of them wounded, dear,
None of these forces.
O is it the parson they want, with white hair,
Is it the parson, is it, is it?
No, they are passing his gateway, dear,
Without a visit.
O it must be the farmer that lives so near.
It must be the farmer so cunning, so cunning?
They have passed the farmyard already, dear,
And now they are running.
O where are you going? Stay with me here!
Were the vows you swore deceiving, deceiving?
No, I promised to love you, dear,
But I must be leaving.
O it's broken the lock and splintered the door,
O it's the gate where they're turning, turning;
Their boots are heavy on the floor
And their eyes are burning.
WH Auden's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (O What Is That Sound by WH Auden )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Stafford's Cabin, Edwin Arlington Robinson
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Christmas Carol, Sara Teasdale