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Poem by Katharine Tynan


The Broken Soldier


The broken soldier sings and whistles day to dark;
    He's but the remnant of a man, maimed and half-blind,
But the soul they could not harm goes singing like the lark,
    Like the incarnate Joy that will not be confined.

The Lady at the Hall has given him a light task,
    He works in the gardens as busy as a bee;
One hand is but a stump and his face a pitted mask;
    The gay soul goes singing like a bird set free.

Whistling and singing like a linnet on wings;
    The others stop to listen, leaning on the spade,
Whole men and comely, they fret at little things.
    The soul of him's singing like a thrush in a glade.

Hither and thither, hopping, like Robin on the grass,
    The soul in the broken man is beautiful and brave;
And while he weeds the pansies and the bright hours pass
    The bird caught in the cage whistles its joyous stave.



Katharine Tynan


Katharine Tynan's other poems:
  1. The Truce of God
  2. The Little Old Woman
  3. The Crown
  4. Any Mother
  5. A Colloquy


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