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Best Famous Soldier Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Soldier poems. This is a select list of the best famous Soldier poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Soldier poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of soldier poems.

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Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league onward, 
All in the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!" he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!" Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew Some one had blundered: Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred.
Flashed all their sabres bare, Flashed as they turned in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wondered: Plunged in the battery-smoke Right through the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reeled from the sabre-stroke Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not, Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came through the jaws of Death Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!


Written by Elizabeth Bishop | |

This is the house of Bedlam

This is the man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.
This is the time of the tragic man that lies in the house of Bedlam.
This is a wristwatch telling the time of the talkative man that lies in the house of Bedlam.
This is a sailor wearing the watch that tells the time of the honored man that lies in the house of Bedlam.
This is the roadstead all of board reached by the sailor wearing the watch that tells the time of the old brave man that lies in the house of Bedlam.
These are the years and the walls of the ward the winds and clouds of the sea of board sailed by the sailor wearing the watch that tells the time of the cranky man that lies in the house of Bedlam.
This is a Jew in a newspaper hat that dances weeping down the ward over the creaking sea of board beyond the sailor winding his watch that tells the time of the cruel man that lies in the house of Bedlam.
This is a world of books gone flat.
This is a Jew in a newspaper hat that dances weeping down the ward over the creaking sea of board of the batty sailor that winds his watch that tells the time of the busy man that lies in the house of Bedlam.
This is a boy that pats the floor to see if the world is there is flat for the widowed Jew in the newspaper hat that dances weeping down the ward waltzing the length of a weaving board by the silent sailor that hears his watch that ticks the time of the tedious man that lies in the house of Bedlam.
These are the years and the walls and the door that shut on a boy that pats the floor to feel if the world is there and flat.
This is a Jew in a newspaper hat that dances joyfully down the ward into the parting seas of board past the staring sailor that shakes his watch that tells the time of the poet the man that lies in the house of Bedlam.
This is the soldier home from the war.
These are the years and the walls and the door that shut on a boy that pats the floorto see if the world is round or flat.
This is a Jew in a newspaper hat that dances carefully down the ward walking the plank of a coffin board with the crazy sailor that shows his watch that tells the time of the wretched man that lies in the house of Bedlam.


Written by William Cullen Bryant | |

Song of Marions Men

OUR band is few but true and tried  
Our leader frank and bold; 
The British soldier trembles 
When Marion's name is told.
Our fortress is the good greenwood 5 Our tent the cypress-tree; We know the forest round us As seamen know the sea.
We know its walls of thorny vines Its glades of reedy grass 10 Its safe and silent islands Within the dark morass.
Woe to the English soldiery That little dread us near! On them shall light at midnight 15 A strange and sudden fear: When waking to their tents on fire They grasp their arms in vain And they who stand to face us Are beat to earth again; 20 And they who fly in terror deem A mighty host behind And hear the tramp of thousands Upon the hollow wind.
Then sweet the hour that brings release 25 From danger and from toil; We talk the battle over And share the battle's spoil.
The woodland rings with laugh and shout As if a hunt were up 30 And woodland flowers are gathered To crown the soldier's cup.
With merry songs we mock the wind That in the pine-top grieves And slumber long and sweetly 35 On beds of oaken leaves.
Well knows the fair and friendly moon The band that Marion leads¡ª The glitter of their rifles The scampering of their steeds.
40 'T is life to guide the fiery barb Across the moonlit plain; 'T is life to feel the night-wind That lifts his tossing mane.
A moment in the British camp¡ª 45 A moment¡ªand away Back to the pathless forest Before the peep of day.
Grave men there are by broad Santee Grave men with hoary hairs; 50 Their hearts are all with Marion For Marion are their prayers.
And lovely ladies greet our band With kindliest welcoming With smiles like those of summer 55 And tears like those of spring.
For them we wear these trusty arms And lay them down no more Till we have driven the Briton Forever from our shore.
60


More great poems below...

Written by Oliver Wendell Holmes | |

The Silent Melody

 "BRING me my broken harp," he said;
"We both are wrecks,-- but as ye will,--
Though all its ringing tones have fled,
Their echoes linger round it still;
It had some golden strings, I know,
But that was long-- how long!-- ago.
"I cannot see its tarnished gold, I cannot hear its vanished tone, Scarce can my trembling fingers hold The pillared frame so long their own; We both are wrecks,-- awhile ago It had some silver strings, I know, "But on them Time too long has played The solemn strain that knows no change, And where of old my fingers strayed The chords they find are new and strange,-- Yes! iron strings,-- I know,-- I know,-- We both are wrecks of long ago.
"We both are wrecks,-- a shattered pair, Strange to ourselves in time's disguise What say ye to the lovesick air That brought the tears from Marian's eyes? Ay! trust me,-- under breasts of snow Hearts could be melted long ago! "Or will ye hear the storm-song's crash That from his dreams the soldier woke, And bade him face the lightning flash When battle's cloud in thunder broke? Wrecks,-- nought but wrecks!-- the time was when We two were worth a thousand men!" And so the broken harp they bring With pitying smiles that none could blame; Alas there's not a single string Of all that filled the tarnished frame! But see! like children overjoyed, His fingers rambling through the void! "I clasp thee! Ay .
.
.
mine ancient lyre.
.
.
Nay, guide my wandering fingers.
.
.
There! They love to dally with the wire As Isaac played with Esan's hair.
.
.
.
Hush! ye shall hear the famous tune That Marina called the Breath of June!" And so they softly gather round: Rapt in his tuneful trance he seems: His fingers move: but not a sound! A silence like the song of dreams.
.
.
.
"There! ye have heard the air," he cries, "That brought the tears from Marina's eyes!" Ah, smile not at his fond conceit, Nor deem his fancy wrought in vain; To him the unreal sounds are sweet,-- No discord mars the silent strain Scored on life's latest, starlit page-- The voiceless melody of age.
Sweet are the lips of all that sing, When Nature's music breathes unsought, But never yet could voice or string So truly shape our tenderest thought As when by life's decaying fire Our fingers sweep the stringless lyre!


Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

The Pipes At Lucknow

 Pipes of the misty moorlands,
Voice of the glens and hills;
The droning of the torrents,
The treble of the rills!
Not the braes of bloom and heather,
Nor the mountains dark with rain,
Nor maiden bower, nor border tower,
Have heard your sweetest strain!

Dear to the Lowland reaper,
And plaided mountaineer, -
To the cottage and the castle
The Scottish pipes are dear; -
Sweet sounds the ancient pibroch
O'er mountain, loch, and glade;
But the sweetest of all music
The pipes at Lucknow played.
Day by day the Indian tiger Louder yelled, and nearer crept; Round and round the jungle-serpent Near and nearer circles swept.
'Pray for rescue, wives and mothers, - Pray to-day!' the soldier said; 'To-morrow, death's between us And the wrong and shame we dread.
' Oh, they listened, looked, and waited, Till their hope became despair; And the sobs of low bewailing Filled the pauses of their prayer.
Then up spake a Scottish maiden.
With her ear unto the ground: 'Dinna ye hear it? - dinna ye hear it? The pipes o' Havelock sound!' Hushed the wounded man his groaning; Hushed the wife her little ones; Alone they heard the drum-roll And the roar of Sepoy guns.
But to sounds of home and childhood The Highland ear was true; - As her mother's cradle-crooning The mountain pipes she knew.
Like the march of soundless music Through the vision of the seer, More of feeling than of hearing, Of the heart than of the ear, She knew the droning pibroch, She knew the Campbell's call: 'Hark! hear ye no MacGregor's, The grandest o' them all!' Oh, they listened, dumb and breathless, And they caught the sound at last; Faint and far beyond the Goomtee Rose and fell the piper's blast! Then a burst of wild thanksgiving Mingled woman's voice and man's; 'God be praised! - the march of Havelock! The piping of the clans!' Louder, nearer, fierce as vengeance, Sharp and shrill as swords at strife, Came the wild MacGregor's clan-call, Stinging all the air to life.
But when the far-off dust-cloud To plaided legions grew, Full tenderly and blithesomely The pipes of rescue blew! Round the silver domes of Lucknow.
Moslem mosque and Pagan shrine, Breathed the air to Britons dearest, The air of Auld Lang Syne.
O'er the cruel roll of war-drums Rose that sweet and homelike strain; And the tartan clove the turban, As the Goomtee cleaves the plain.
Dear to the corn-land reaper And plaided mountaineer, - To the cottage and the castle The piper's song is dear.
Sweet sounds the Gaelic pibroch O'er mountain, glen, and glade; But the sweetest of all music The pipes at Lucknow played!


Written by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge | |

Good Friday in my Heart

 GOOD FRIDAY in my heart! Fear and affright! 
My thoughts are the Disciples when they fled, 
My words the words that priest and soldier said, 
My deed the spear to desecrate the dead.
And day, Thy death therein, is changed to night.
Then Easter in my heart sends up the sun.
My thoughts are Mary, when she turned to see.
My words are Peter, answering, ‘Lov’st thou Me?’ My deeds are all Thine own drawn close to Thee, And night and day, since Thou dost rise, are one.


Written by John Crowe Ransom | |

Captain Carpenter

 Captain Carpenter rose up in his prime 
Put on his pistols and went riding out 
But had got wellnigh nowhere at that time 
Till he fell in with ladies in a rout.
It was a pretty lady and all her train That played with him so sweetly but before An hour she'd taken a sword with all her main And twined him of his nose for evermore.
Captain Carpenter mounted up one day And rode straightway into a stranger rogue That looked unchristian but be that as may The Captain did not wait upon prologue.
But drew upon him out of his great heart The other swung against him with a club And cracked his two legs at the shinny part And let him roll and stick like any tub.
Captain Carpenter rode many a time From male and female took he sundry harms He met the wife of Satan crying "I'm The she-wolf bids you shall bear no more arms.
Their strokes and counters whistled in the wind I wish he had delivered half his blows But where she should have made off like a hind The bitch bit off his arms at the elbows.
And Captain Carpenter parted with his ears To a black devil that used him in this wise O Jesus ere his threescore and ten years Another had plucked out his sweet blue eyes.
Captain Carpenter got up on his roan And sallied from the gate in hell's despite I heard him asking in the grimmest tone If any enemy yet there was to fight? "To any adversary it is fame If he risk to be wounded by my tongue Or burnt in two beneath my red heart's flame Such are the perils he is cast among.
"But if he can he has a pretty choice From an anatomy with little to lose Whether he cut my tongue and take my voice Or whether it be my round red heart he choose.
" It was the neatest knave that ever was seen Stepping in perfume from his lady's bower Who at this word put in his merry mien And fell on Captain Carpenter like a tower.
I would not knock old fellows in the dust But there lay Captain Carpenter on his back His weapons were the old heart in his bust And a blade shook between rotten teeth alack.
The rogue in scarlet and grey soon knew his mind.
He wished to get his trophy and depart With gentle apology and touch refined He pierced him and produced the Captain's heart.
God's mercy rest on Captain Carpenter now (a, I thought him Sirs an honest gentleman Citizen husband soldier and scholar enow Let jangling kites eat of him if they can.
But God's deep curses follow after those That shore him of his goodly nose and ears His legs and strong arms at the two elbows And eyes that had not watered seventy years.
The curse of hell upon the sleek upstart That got the Captain finally on his back And took the red red vitals of his heart And made the kites to whet their beaks clack clack.


Written by John Crowe Ransom | |

Prelude to an Evening

 Do not enforce the tired wolf
Dragging his infected wound homeward
To sit tonight with the warm children
Naming the pretty kings of France.
The images of the invaded mind Being as the monsters in the dreams Of your most brief enchanted headful, Suppose a miracle of confusion: That dreamed and undreamt become each other And mix the night and day of your mind; And it does not matter your twice crying From mouth unbeautied against the pillow To avert the gun of the same old soldier; For cry, cock-crow, or the iron bell Can crack the sleep-sense of outrage, Annihilate phantoms who were nothing.
But now, by our perverse supposal, There is a drift of fog on your mornings; You in your peignoir, dainty at your orange cup, Feel poising round the sunny room Invisible evil, deprived and bold.
All day the clock will metronome Your gallant fear; the needles clicking, The heels detonating the stair's cavern Freshening the water in the blue bowls For the buck berries, with not all your love, You shall he listening for the low wind, The warning sibilance of pines.
You like a waning moon, and I accusing Our too banded Eumenides, While you pronounce Noes wanderingly And smooth the heads of the hungry children.


Written by Paul Laurence Dunbar | |

At the Tavern

 A lilt and a swing, 
And a ditty to sing,
Or ever the night grow old;
The wine is within,
And I'm sure t'were a sin
For a soldier to choose to be cold, my dear,
For a soldier to choose to be cold.
We're right for a spell, But the fever is -- well, No thing to be braved, at least; So bring me the wine; No low fever in mine, For a drink more kind than a priest, my dear, For a drink is more kind than a priest.


Written by Ben Jonson | |

To Pertinax Cob


LXIX.
 — TO PERTINAX COB.

COB, thou nor soldier, thief, nor fencer art,
Yet by thy weapon liv'st! thou hast one good part.


Written by Wole Soyinka | |

Civilian and Soldier

My apparition rose from the fall of lead,
Declared, 'I am a civilian.
' It only served To aggravate your fright.
For how could I Have risen, a being of this world, in that hour Of impartial death! And I thought also: nor is Your quarrel of this world.
You stood still For both eternities, and oh I heard the lesson Of your traing sessions, cautioning - Scorch earth behind you, do not leave A dubious neutral to the rear.
Reiteration Of my civilian quandary, burrowing earth From the lead festival of your more eager friends Worked the worse on your confusion, and when You brought the gun to bear on me, and death Twitched me gently in the eye, your plight And all of you came clear to me.
I hope some day Intent upon my trade of living, to be checked In stride by your apparition in a trench, Signalling, I am a soldier.
No hesitation then But I shall shoot you clean and fair With meat and bread, a gourd of wine A bunch of breasts from either arm, and that Lone question - do you friend, even now, know What it is all about?


Written by | |

The Soldier

I climbed the barren mountain,
 And my gaze swept far and wide
For the red-lit eaves of my father's home,
 And I fancied that he sighed:
    My son has gone for a soldier,
     For a soldier night and day;
    But my son is wise, and may yet return,
     When the drums have died away.
I climbed the grass-clad mountain, And my gaze swept far and wide For the rosy lights of a little room, Where I thought my mother sighed: My boy has gone for a soldier, He sleeps not day and night; But my boy is wise, and may yet return, Though the dead lie far from sight.
I climbed the topmost summit, And my gaze swept far and wide For the garden roof where my brother stood, And I fancied that he sighed: My brother serves as a soldier With his comrades night and day; But my brother is wise, and may yet return, Though the dead lie far away.


Written by William Vaughn Moody | |

On a Soldier Fallen in the Philippines

 Streets of the roaring town, 
Hush for him, hus, be still! 
He comes, who was stricken down 
Doing the word of our will.
Hush! Let him have his state, Give him his soldier's crown.
The grists of trade can wait Their grinding at the mill, But he cannot wait for his honor, now the trumpet has been blown.
Wreathe pride now for his granite brow, lay love on his breast of stone.
Toll! Let the great bells toll Till the clashing air is dim.
Did we wrong this parted soul? We will make it up to him.
Toll! Let him never guess What work we set him to.
Laurel, laurel, yes; He did waht we bade him do.
Praise, and never a whispered hint but the fight he fought was good; Never a word that the blood on his sword was his country's own heart's-blood.
A flag for the soldier's bier Who dies that his land may live; O, banners, banners here, That he doubt not nor misgive ! That he heed not from the tomb The evil days draw near When the nation, robed in gloom, With its faithless past shall strive.
Let him never dream that his bullet's scream went wide of its island mark, Home to the heart of his darling land where she stumbled and sinned in the dark.


Written by A E Housman | |

The Day of Battle

 "Far I hear the bugle blow 
To call me where I would not go, 
And the guns begin the song, 
'Soldier, fly or stay for long.
' "Comrade, if to turn and fly Made a soldier never die, Fly I would, for who would not? 'Tis sure no pleasure to be shot.
"But since the man that runs away Lives to die another day, And cowards' funerals, when they come, Are not wept so well at home, "Therefore, though the best is bad, Stand and do the best, my lad; Stand and fight and see your slain, And take the bullet in your brain.
"


Written by A E Housman | |

The Street Sounds to the Soldiers Tread

 The street sounds to the soldiers' tread, 
And out we troop to see: 
A single redcoat turns his head, 
He turns and looks at me.
My man, from sky to sky's so far, We never crossed before; Such leagues apart the world's ends are, We're like to meet no more; What thoughts at heart have you and I We cannot stop to tell; But dead or living, drunk or dry, Soldier, I wish you well.