Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

Old Fighting-Men


All the world over, nursing their scars,
Sit the old fighting-men broke in the wars--
Sit the old fighting-men, surly and grim
Mocking the lilt of the conquerors' hymn.

Dust of the battle o'erwhelmed them and hid.
Fame never found them for aught that they did.
Wounded and spent to the lazar they drew,
Lining the road where the Legions roll through.

Sons of the Laurel who press to your meed,
(Worthy God's pity most--you who succeed!)
Ere you go triumphing, crowned, to the stars,
Pity poor fighting-men, broke in the wars!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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