Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A CALL TO ACTION, by CALLINUS

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A CALL TO ACTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How long, young men, unsoldiered, disregarding
Last Line: Work for many hands he does alone.
Subject(s): War

HOW long, young men, unsoldiered, disregarding,
laze you, scorned by neighbours round about?
Slack to the bone, on peace resolved, supinely
careless in a land where all is war?
* * * * * *
hurl in death your javelins once again.
For great and glorious is a man defending
home and children and his wedded wife
against the enemy. At Fate's own moment
snaps his thread of life. So forward all
with spear in poise, crouching to shields that cover
hearts courageous, soon as battle's joined.
There's no escaping death: that destination
men must face -- ev'n of immortal seed.
Many from war and ringing lance have sheltered,
homeward fled: at home death finds them out.
But these the people love not, none regrets them:
brave men fallen great and small lament.
The whole land mourns a man of heart heroic
dead: in life a demigod he seems.
His strength is as a tower to all beholders --
work for many hands he does alone.

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