And when, in the city in which I love you,
even my most excellent song goes unanswered,
andI mount the scabbed streets,
the long shouts of avenues,
and tunnel sunken night in search of you...
That I negotiate fog, bituminous
rain rining like teeth into the beggar's tin,
or two men jackaling a third in some alley
weirdly lit by a couch on fire, that I
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
By Philip's warlike son—
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate
On his imperial throne;
His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound
(So should desert in arms be crowned);
The lovely Thais by his side
Sate like a blooming eastern bride
It's easy to fight when everything's right,
And you're mad with the thrill and the glory;
It's easy to cheer when victory's near,
And wallow in fields that are gory.
It's a different song when everything's wrong,
When you're feeling infernally mortal;
When it's ten against one, and hope there is none,
Buck up, little soldier, and chortle:
Carry on! Carry on!
The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
And his musket molds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new
And the soldier was passing fair,
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.
"Now, don't you go till I come," he said,
I am a prodigal son of a gun
Who fears nothing under the sun
I am a brave and defiant soldier
I am a peaceful gladiator
My pencil is my sword
My pen is my deadly weapon
I write one word at a time, one word
Which can destroy their plan
My pen is like a machine gun
An M16, which spits with a lot of fun
His mother waited in the window until she took her last breath... never receiving the news... never knowing closure... the boy who never returned... the unknown soldier...
The fiancé who cried herself to sleep every night... letters unanswered... days turned to weeks... months turned to years... not knowing whether to remain forever faithful... or to simply move on... the boy who never returned... the unknown soldier...
The dad who was never able to retire... he kept the family business running so that one day his son would have something to return home to... a dad who never lost faith... until he could work no longer... the boy who never returned... the unknown soldier...
The younger brother who lost his idol... a brother he always looked up to... his role model and his protector... feeling too guilty to ever use his catcher’s mitt... the boy who never returned... the unknown soldier...
© 2020 Jeffrey Pipes Guice
So, I sees ’im in the grocery store a-shufflin’ down the aisle.
‘Is cart stuffed to the brim with food an’ wife ‘n’ kids in tow.
An’ I can’t ‘elp but let myself put on a great big smile
At this image of the rough-an’-tumble man I used to know.
“Troop!” says I, when ‘e gets near; ‘e looks me up an’ down.
Then ‘e too smiles as broad as paint; ‘is missus starts to frown.
“Well it’s bin years,” ‘e says to me, I scarcely knew ‘twas you
An’ we settled down to chew the fat ‘bout ol’ days that we knew.
ADIEU, O soldier!
You of the rude campaigning, (which we shared,)
The rapid march, the life of the camp,
The hot contention of opposing fronts- the long manoeuver,
Red battles with their slaughter,- the stimulus- the strong, terrific
Spell of all brave and manly hearts- the trains of Time through you,
and like of you, all fill'd,
With war, and war's expression.
A MARCH in the ranks hard-prest, and the road unknown;
A route through a heavy wood, with muffled steps in the darkness;
Our army foil'd with loss severe, and the sullen remnant retreating;
Till after midnight glimmer upon us, the lights of a dim-lighted
We come to an open space in the woods, and halt by the dim-lighted
'Tis a large old church at the crossing roads--'tis now an impromptu
--Entering but for a minute, I see a sight beyond all the pictures