Henry Clay Work

(1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)

We'Ll Go Down Ourselves - Poem by Henry Clay Work

"What shall we do, as years go by,
And Peace remains a stranger --
With Richmond yet in rebel hands,
And Washington in danger?
What shall we do for leaders, when
Old Age this race is cropping?"
I asked whom I met --
And didn't it set them hopping!

"What shall we do? What shall we do?
Why, lay them on the shelves,
And we'll go down ourselves,
And teach the rebels something new,
And teach the rebels something new."

"What shall we do when armies march
To storm the rebel quarters --
If as of yore, their marches end
Beside Potomac's waters?
May not we call our soldiers home?
May not we think of stopping?"
I strove to frame the question fair --
But didn't it set them hopping!

"What shall we do when all the men
For battle have enlisted --
And yet the rebels hold their ground,
And law is yet resisted?"
Instead of doing as I should --
The theme politely dropping,
I ventured yet one question more --
Oh didn't it get them hopping!


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Read poems about / on: peace, home, soldier, water



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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