Alfred Edward Housman

(26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 / Worcestershire)

The Day Of Battle - Poem by Alfred Edward Housman

"Far I hear the bugle blow
To call me where I would not go,
And the guns begin the song,
'Soldier, fly or stay for long.'

"Comrade, if to turn and fly
Made a soldier never die,
Fly I would, for who would not?
'Tis sure no pleasure to be shot.

"But since the man that runs away
Lives to die another day,
And cowards' funerals, when they come,
Are not wept so well at home,

"Therefore, though the best is bad,
Stand and do the best, my lad;
Stand and fight and see your slain,
And take the bullet in your brain."


Comments about The Day Of Battle by Alfred Edward Housman

  • Geoffrey Plowden (4/24/2016 5:29:00 PM)

    This poem is an imitation of a famous passage of Homer, the speech of Sarpedon to Glaucus in the Iliad. (Report) Reply

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  • Geoffrey Plowden (4/24/2016 5:24:00 PM)

    This poem is an imitation of a famous passage of Homer, the speech of Sarpedon to Glaucus. in the Iliad. (There is another, totally different, imitation in Clarissa's speech in Pope's Rape of the Lock.) (Report) Reply

  • Jack W. Gill (9/26/2009 2:56:00 AM)

    Short and direct with a powerful story line. A poem to remember. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: soldier, song, home, running



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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