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Poem by Alfred Edward Housman


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Wake not for the world-heard thunder,
Nor the chimes that earthquakes toll;
Stars may plot in heaven with planet,
Lightning rive the rock of granite,
Tempest tread the oakwood under,
Fear not you for flesh or soul;
Marching, fighting, victory past,
Stretch your limbs in peace at last.

Stir not for the soldier's drilling,
Nor the fever nothing cures;
Throb of drum and timbal's rattle
Call but men alive to battle,
And the fife with death-notes filling
Screams for blood--but not for yours.
Times enough you bled your best;
Sleep on now, and take your rest.

Sleep, my lad; the French have landed,
London's burning, Windsor's down.
Clasp your cloak of earth about you;
We must man the ditch without you,
March unled and fight short-handed,
Charge to fall and swim to drown.
Duty, friendship, bravery o'er,
Sleep away, lad; wake no more. 



Alfred Edward Housman


Alfred Edward Housman's other poems:
  1. Additional Poems. 1. Atys
  2. Additional Poems. 2. Oh Were He and I Together
  3. Last Poems. 22. The Sloe Was Lost in Flower
  4. More Poems. 9. When Green Buds Hang in the Elm Like Dust
  5. Additional Poems. 11a. They Shall Have Breath that Never Were


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