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The Assault Heroic

Written by: Robert Graves | Biography
 | Quotes (8) |
 Down in the mud I lay, 
Tired out by my long day 
Of five damned days and nights, 
Five sleepless days and nights,… 
Dream-snatched, and set me where
The dungeon of Despair 
Looms over Desolate Sea, 
Frowning and threatening me 
With aspect high and steep— 
A most malignant keep.
My foes that lay within 
Shouted and made a din, 
Hooted and grinned and cried: 
“Today we’ve killed your pride; 
Today your ardour ends
We’ve murdered all your friends; 
We’ve undermined by stealth 
Your happiness and your health. 
We’ve taken away your hope; 
Now you may droop and mope
To misery and to Death.” 
But with my spear of Faith, 
Stout as an oaken rafter, 
With my round shield of laughter, 
With my sharp, tongue-like sword
That speaks a bitter word, 
I stood beneath the wall 
And there defied them all. 
The stones they cast I caught 
And alchemized with thought
Into such lumps of gold 
As dreaming misers hold. 
The boiling oil they threw 
Fell in a shower of dew, 
Refreshing me; the spears
Flew harmless by my ears, 
Struck quivering in the sod; 
There, like the prophet’s rod, 
Put leaves out, took firm root, 
And bore me instant fruit.
My foes were all astounded, 
Dumbstricken and confounded, 
Gaping in a long row; 
They dared not thrust nor throw. 
Thus, then, I climbed a steep
Buttress and won the keep, 
And laughed and proudly blew 
My horn, “Stand to! Stand to! 
Wake up, sir! Here’s a new 
Attack! Stand to! Stand to!”