Of Soldiers and War. Three Poems and one more.

The last poem is most famous, the others appear in a few poetry anthologies, maybe not so close together:
At The Sound Of The Drum                                                        Edith Nesbit  1858-1924

Are you going for a soldier with your curly yellow hair,
And a scarlet coat instead of the smock you used to wear?
Are you going to drive the foe as you used to drive the plough?
Are you going for a soldier now?

I am going for a soldier, and my tunic is of red
And I’m tired of woman’s chatter, and I’ll hear the drum instead;
I will break the fighting line as you broke your plighted vow,
For I’m going for a soldier now.

For a soldier, for a soldier are you sure that you will go,
To hear the drums a-beating and to hear the bugles blow?
I’ll make you sweeter music, for I’ll swear another vow–
Are you going for a soldier now?

I am going for a soldier if you’d twenty vows to make;
You must get another sweetheart, with another heart to break,
For I’m sick of lies and women and the harrow and the plough,
And I’m going for a soldier now!

 

A Garden, Written after the Civil Wars                         Andrew Marvell    1621-1678

See how the flowers, as at parade,
Under their colours stand displayed:
Each regiment in order grows,
That of the tulip, pink, and rose.
But when the vigilant patrol
Of stars walks round about the pole,
Their leaves, that to the stalks are curled,
Seem to their staves the ensigns furled.
Then in some flower’s beloved hut
Each bee, as sentinel, is shut,
And sleeps so too; but if once stirred,
She runs you through, nor asks the word.
O thou, that dear and happy Isle,
The garden of the world erewhile,
Thou Paradise of the four seas
Which Heaven planted us to please,
But, to exclude the world, did guard
With watery if not flaming sword;
What luckless apple did we taste
To make us mortal and thee waste!
Unhappy! shall we never more
That sweet militia restore,
When gardens only had their towers,
And all the garrisons were flowers;
When roses only arms might bear,
And men did rosy garlands wear?

The drum                                                                        John Scott of Amwell   1730-1783

I hate that drum’s discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace, and glittering arms;
And when Ambition’s voice commands,
To march, and fight, and fall, in foreign lands.

I hate that drum’s discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To me it talks of ravaged plains,
And burning towns, and ruined swains,
And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
And widows’ tears, and orphans’ moans;
And all that Misery’s hand bestows.
To fill the catalogue of human woes.

 

The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna                       Charles Wolfe   1791- 1823

Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.

We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning;
By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light
And the lantern dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest
With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,
And we far away on the billow!

Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone
And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him,–
But little he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

But half of our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring:
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But left him alone with his glory.

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Author: poetryparc2

Here goes: I read poets and around poetry and any other book I take a fancy to. I seem to have a preference for seeing the changes from the Victorian period through to the 1930's, maybe 50's. But, and a big but, I also read anything right up to current poetry/performance poetry. Sometimes my ‘historic’ preference for 'imagist' and ‘Nature' unnerves me for too much too modern. However, I do like to range over poetry and fiction, any and all periods. I also like finding (if only for me) regional or partly forgotten poems and poets. Maybe all this is too eclectic to have a themed 'Blog' but so be it....... I also write fiction that might add up to a small mole-hill one day. Plus reviewing new or old books that are relevant to my enthusiasms of Crime Fiction, the Arts, Natural History and Special Education. This is on 'wordparc'. I try to record honestly what I think but if something is too bad (to my mind, others may love it!!) then I will not 'blog'. I buy or borrow to read and review. If there is a click-through it is meant to be useful though ‘wordery’ might give me a small % at no cost to you. There, what's that if not seemingly random!

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