The Golden Boy - Poem by Katharine Tynan
IN times of peace, so clean and bright,
And with a new-washed morning face,
He walked Pall Mall, a goodly sight,
The finished flower of all the race.
Or through Bond Street and Piccadilly,
Went spick-and-span, without a soil,
As careless as the July lily
That spins not, neither does she toil.
He took his soldiering as sport,
And beauteous in his mufti stirred
Romance i' the simple female sort
That loves a guardsman or a lord.
And now, knee-deep in muddy water,
Unwashed, unshaven, see him go!
His garments stained with mud and slaughter
Would break the heart of Savile Row.
The danger's in his blood like wine,
The old heroic passion leaps;
The son of the mighty fighting line
Goes glad whatever woman weeps.
He plays the game, winning or losing,
As in the playing-fields at home;
This picnic's nothing of his choosing,
But since it's started, let it come!
He lives his hour with keenest zest,
And midst the flying death he spares
A laugh to the light-heart schoolboy jest,
Mingled with curses and with prayers.
Gay as at Eton or at Harrow,
Counts battles as by goals and runs
God keep him from Death's flying arrow
To give his England fighting sons.
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