Robert William Service
The Song Of The Soldier-Born
Give me the scorn of the stars and a peak defiant;
Wail of the pines and a wind with the shout of a giant;
Night and a trail unknown and a heart reliant.
Give me to live and love in the old, bold fashion;
A soldier's billet at night and a soldier's ration;
A heart that leaps to the fight with a soldier's passion.
For I hold as a simple faith there's no denying:
The trade of a soldier's the only trade worth plying;
The death of a soldier's the only death worth dying.
So let me go and leave your safety behind me;
Go to the spaces of hazard where nothing shall bind me;
Go till the word is War - and then you will find me.
Then you will call me and claim me because you will need me;
Cheer me and gird me and into the battle-wrath speed me....
And when it's over, spurn me and no longer heed me.
For guile and a purse gold-greased are the arms you carry;
With deeds of paper you fight and with pens you parry;
You call on the hounds of the law your foes to harry.
You with your 'Art for its own sake', posing and prinking;
You with your 'Live and be merry', eating and drinking;
You with your 'Peace at all hazard', from bright blood shrinking.
Fools! I will tell you now: though the red rain patters,
And a million of men go down, it's little it matters....
There's the Flag upflung to the stars, though it streams in tatters.
There's a glory gold never can buy to yearn and to cry for;
There's a hope that's as old as the sky to suffer and sigh for;
There's a faith that out-dazzles the sun to martyr and die for.
Ah no! it's my dream that War will never be ended;
That men will perish like men, and valour be splendid;
That the Flag by the sword will be served, and honour defended.
That the tale of my fights will never be ancient story;
That though my eye may be dim and my beard be hoary,
I'll die as a soldier dies on the Field of Glory.
So give me a strong right arm for a wrong's swift righting;
Stave of a song on my lips as my sword is smiting;
Death in my boots may-be, but fighting, fighting.
Robert William Service's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Song Of The Soldier-Born by Robert William Service )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe