Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CALL, by FRANCIS WILLIAM BOURDILLON



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THE CALL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Hark! 'tis the rush of the horses
Last Line: And—losing such stakes—say, 't is well!
Subject(s): World War I; First World War


HARK! 'T is the rush of the horses,
The crash of the galloping gun!
The stars are out of their courses;
The hour of Doom has begun.
Leap from thy scabbard, O sword!
This is the Day of the Lord!

Prate not of peace any longer,
Laughter and idlesse and ease!
Up, every man that is stronger!
Leave but the priest on his knees!
Quick, every hand to the hilt!
Who striketh not—his the guilt!

Call not each man on his brother!
Cry not to Heaven to save!
Thou art the man—not another—
Thou, to off glove and out glaive!
Fight ye who ne'er fought before!
Fight ye old fighters the more!

Oh, but the thrill and the splendour,
The sudden new knowledge—I can!
To fawn on no hireling defender,
But fight one's own fight as a man!
On woman's love won we set store;
To win one's own manhood is more.

Who hath a soul that will glow not,
Set face to face with the foe?
"Is life worth living?"—I know not:
Death is worth dying, I know.
Aye, I would gamble with Hell,
And—losing such stakes—say, 'T is well!





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