William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

Last Post - Poem by William Ernest Henley

THE day's high work is over and done,
And these no more will need the sun:
Blow, you bugles of England, blow!
These are gone where all must go,
Mightily gone from the field they won.
So in the workaday wear of battle,
Touched to glory with God's own red,
Bear we our chosen to their bed!
Settle them lovingly where they fell,
In that good lap they loved so well;
And, their deliveries to the dear Lord said,
And the last desperate volleys ranged and sped,
Blow, you bugles of England, blow,
Over the camps of her beaten foe --
Blow glory and pity to the victor Mother,
Sad, O sad in her sacrificial dead!

Labour, and love, and strife, and mirth,
They gave their part in this kindly earth --
Blow, you bugles of England, blow!
That her Name as a sun among stars might glow,
Till the dusk of time, with honour and worth:
That stung by lust and the pain of battle,
The One Race ever might starkly spread,
And the One Flag eagle it overhead!
In a rapture of wrath and faith and pride,
Thus they felt it, and thus they died;
So to the Maker of homes, to the Giver of bread,
For whose dear sake their triumphing souls they shed,
Blow, you bugles of England, blow,
Though you break the heart of her beaten foe,
Glory and praise to the everlasting Mother,
Glory and peace to her lovely and faithful dead!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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