Song of the Soldiers
What of the faith and fire within us
Men who march away
Why should this flower delay so long
To show its tremulous plumes?
Now is the time of plaintive robin-song,
When flowers are in their tombs.
On Monday night I closed my door,
And thought you were not as heretofore,
And little cared if we met no more.
Here we broached the Christmas barrel,
Pushed up the charred log-ends;
Here we sang the Christmas carol,
And called in friends.
WHEN you shall see me lined by tool of Time,
My lauded beauties carried off from me,
Here by the moorway you returned,
And saw the borough lights ahead
That lit your face - all undiscerned
To be in a week the face of the dead,
THEY bear him to his resting-place--
In slow procession sweeping by;
I follow at a stranger's space;
His kindred they, his sweetheart I.
Con the dead page as 'twere live love: press on!
Cold wisdom's words will ease thy track for thee;
Aye, go; cast off sweet ways, and leave me wan
To biting blasts that are intent on me.
From the slow march and muffled drum,
And crowds distrest,
And book and bell, at length I have come
To my full rest.
Whence comes Solace?--Not from seeing
What is doing, suffering, being,
Not from noting Life's conditions,
Nor from heeding Time's monitions;