Dora Sigerson Shorter

(1866-1918 / Ireland)

The Dead Soldier - Poem by Dora Sigerson Shorter

Where the sword has opened the way the man will follow

'Look! they came, the triumphant army!
Over yon hill see their weapons peeping!'
Still I spoke not but my wheel sent turning,
I closed my eyes for my heart was weeping,
My heart was weeping for a dead soldier.
Who is he who looks towards me?
''Tis no man but a gay flag flying.'
Red was his mouth and his white brow thoughtful,
Blue his eyes—how my soul is crying,
My soul is crying for a dead soldier.
'Kneel ye down, lest your eyes should dare them,
Kneel ye down and your beads be saying.'
'Lord, on their heads Thy wrath deliver,'
This is the prayer that my lips are praying,
My heart is praying for a dead soldier.

'Best cheer the path of the men victorious,
For he is dead and his blade lies broken,
His march is far where no aid can follow,
And for his people he left no token,
He left no token, the dead soldier.'
The way of the sword a man can follow,
See the young child with his gold hair gleaming.
When falls the oak must the acorn perish?
He lifts the blade and his eyes are dreaming,
He dreams the dream of the dead soldier.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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