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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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by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

The Soldier

 Yes.
Why do we ?ll, seeing of a soldier, bless him? bless Our redcoats, our tars? Both these being, the greater part, But frail clay, nay but foul clay.
Here it is: the heart, Since, proud, it calls the calling manly, gives a guess That, hopes that, makesbelieve, the men must be no less; It fancies, feigns, deems, dears the artist after his art; And fain will find as sterling all as all is smart, And scarlet wear the spirit of w?r th?re express.
Mark Christ our King.
He knows war, served this soldiering through; He of all can handle a rope best.
There he bides in bliss Now, and s?eing somewh?re some m?n do all that man can do, For love he leans forth, needs his neck must fall on, kiss, And cry 'O Christ-done deed! So God-made-flesh does too: Were I come o'er again' cries Christ 'it should be this'.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

By-And-Bye

 ‘By-and-bye, ’ the maiden sighed – ‘by-and-bye
He will claim me for his bride, 
Hope is strong and time is fleet; 
Youth is fair, and love is sweet, 
Clouds will pass that fleck my sky, 
He will come back by-and-bye.
’ ‘By-and-bye, ’ the soldier said – ‘by-and-bye, After I have fought and bled, I shall go home from the wars, Crowned with glory, seamed with scars, Joy will flash from some one’s eye When she greets me by-and-bye- by-and-bye.
’ ‘By-and-bye, ’ the mother cried – ‘by-and-bye, Strong and sturdy at my side, Like a staff supporting me, Will my bonnie baby be.
Break my rest, then, wail and cry – Thou’lt repay me by-and-bye - by-and-bye.
’ Fleeting years of time have sped – hurried by – Still the maiden is unwed: All unknown soldier lies, Buried under alien skies; And the son, with blood-shot eye, Saw his mother starve and die.
God in heaven! dost Thou on high Keep the promised ‘by-and-bye’ - by-and-bye?


by Henry Van Dyke | |

The Statue of Sherman by St. Gaudens

 This is the soldier brave enough to tell 
The glory-dazzled world that `war is hell': 
Lover of peace, he looks beyond the strife, 
And rides through hell to save his country's life.


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.
"


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.


by A E Housman | |

The New Mistress

 "Oh, sick I am to see you, will you never let me be? 
You may be good for something, but you are not good for me.
Oh, go where you are wanted, for you are not wanted here.
And that was all the farewell when I parted from my dear.
"I will go where I am wanted, to a lady born and bred Who will dress me free for nothing in a uniform of red; She will not be sick to see me if I only keep it clean: I will go where I am wanted for a soldier of the Queen.
"I will go where I am wanted, for the sergeant does not mind; He may be sick to see me but he treats me very kind: He gives me beer and breakfast and a ribbon for my cap, And I never knew a sweetheart spend her money on a chap.
"I will go where I am wanted, where there's room for one or two, And the men are none too many for the work there is to do; Where the standing line wears thinner and the dropping dead lie thick; And the enemies of England they shall see me and be sick.
"


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.


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.


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.


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.


by Joyce Kilmer | |

In Memory of Rupert Brooke

 In alien earth, across a troubled sea,
His body lies that was so fair and young.
His mouth is stopped, with half his songs unsung; His arm is still, that struck to make men free.
But let no cloud of lamentation be Where, on a warrior's grave, a lyre is hung.
We keep the echoes of his golden tongue, We keep the vision of his chivalry.
So Israel's joy, the loveliest of kings, Smote now his harp, and now the hostile horde.
To-day the starry roof of Heaven rings With psalms a soldier made to praise his Lord; And David rests beneath Eternal wings, Song on his lips, and in his hand a sword.


by Walt Whitman | |

Adieu to a Soldier.

 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 game,
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.
Adieu, dear comrade! Your mission is fulfill’d—but I, more warlike, Myself, and this contentious soul of mine, Still on our own campaigning bound, Through untried roads, with ambushes, opponents lined, Through many a sharp defeat and many a crisis—often baffled, Here marching, ever marching on, a war fight out—aye here, To fiercer, weightier battles give expression.


by Walt Whitman | |

Weave in Weave in My Hardy Life.

 WEAVE in! weave in, my hardy life! 
Weave yet a soldier strong and full, for great campaigns to come; 
Weave in red blood! weave sinews in, like ropes! the senses, sight weave in! 
Weave lasting sure! weave day and night the weft, the warp, incessant weave! tire not! 
(We know not what the use, O life! nor know the aim, the end—nor really aught we
 know;
But know the work, the need goes on, and shall go on—the death-envelop’d march
 of
 peace as well as war goes on;) 
For great campaigns of peace the same, the wiry threads to weave; 
We know not why or what, yet weave, forever weave.


by Walt Whitman | |

As I lay with Head in your Lap Camerado.

 AS I lay with my head in your lap, Camerado, 
The confession I made I resume—what I said to you in the open air I resume: 
I know I am restless, and make others so; 
I know my words are weapons, full of danger, full of death; 
(Indeed I am myself the real soldier;
It is not he, there, with his bayonet, and not the red-striped artilleryman;) 
For I confront peace, security, and all the settled laws, to unsettle them; 
I am more resolute because all have denied me, than I could ever have been had all
 accepted me;

I heed not, and have never heeded, either experience, cautions, majorities, nor ridicule; 
And the threat of what is call’d hell is little or nothing to me;
And the lure of what is call’d heaven is little or nothing to me; 
.
.
.
Dear camerado! I confess I have urged you onward with me, and still urge you, without the least idea what is our destination, Or whether we shall be victorious, or utterly quell’d and defeated.


by Walt Whitman | |

As Toilsome I Wander’d.

 AS toilsome I wander’d Virginia’s woods, 
To the music of rustling leaves, kick’d by my feet, (for ’twas autumn,) 
I mark’d at the foot of a tree the grave of a soldier, 
Mortally wounded he, and buried on the retreat, (easily all could I understand;) 
The halt of a mid-day hour, when up! no time to lose—yet this sign left,
On a tablet scrawl’d and nail’d on the tree by the grave, 
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.
Long, long I muse, then on my way go wandering; Many a changeful season to follow, and many a scene of life; Yet at times through changeful season and scene, abrupt, alone, or in the crowded street, Comes before me the unknown soldier’s grave—comes the inscription rude in Virginia’s woods, Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.


by Walt Whitman | |

One Sweeps By.

 ONE sweeps by, attended by an immense train, 
All emblematic of peace—not a soldier or menial among them.
One sweeps by, old, with black eyes, and profuse white hair, He has the simple magnificence of health and strength, His face strikes as with flashes of lightning whoever it turns toward.
Three old men slowly pass, followed by three others, and they by three others, They are beautiful—the one in the middle of each group holds his companions by the hand, As they walk, they give out perfume wherever they walk.


by Walt Whitman | |

Not Youth Pertains to Me.

 NOT youth pertains to me, 
Nor delicatesse—I cannot beguile the time with talk; 
Awkward in the parlor, neither a dancer nor elegant; 
In the learn’d coterie sitting constrain’d and still—for learning.
inures not to me; Beauty, knowledge, inure not to me—yet there are two or three things inure to me; I have nourish’d the wounded, and sooth’d many a dying soldier, And at intervals, waiting, or in the midst of camp, Composed these songs.


by Walt Whitman | |

Ah Poverties Wincings and Sulky Retreats.

 AH poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats! 
Ah you foes that in conflict have overcome me! 
(For what is my life, or any man’s life, but a conflict with foes—the old, the
 incessant
 war?) 
You degradations—you tussle with passions and appetites; 
You smarts from dissatisfied friendships, (ah wounds, the sharpest of all;)
You toil of painful and choked articulations—you meannesses; 
You shallow tongue-talks at tables, (my tongue the shallowest of any;) 
You broken resolutions, you racking angers, you smother’d ennuis; 
Ah, think not you finally triumph—My real self has yet to come forth; 
It shall yet march forth o’ermastering, till all lies beneath me;
It shall yet stand up the soldier of unquestion’d victory.


by Randall Jarrell | |

Mail Call

 The letters always just evade the hand
One skates like a stone into a beam, falls like a bird.
Surely the past from which the letters rise Is waiting in the future, past the graves? The soldiers are all haunted by their lives.
Their claims upon their kind are paid in paper That established a presence, like a smell.
In letters and in dreams they see the world.
They are waiting: and the years contract To an empty hand, to one unuttered sound -- The soldier simply wishes for his name.


by Chris Mansell | |

the good soldier

 on someone else's place
it seems to him the land
slings distance way out
the dirt is dead and
the sky seems twisted
the beat of the stones is wrong
he doesn't know how to say it
there are no words no opportunity
and anyway
what would you say
that you're a stranger
and this doesn't say it at all

he walks with his weapon through the town
and from time to time he sees the luscious curl
of intimacy the uncommon common life
it's dressed differently he can't understand
the language rasping and gargling 
another time he'd be an interested tourist
now he's a hunter and the hunted

soon they say 
he'll be freed to retreat home
where the earth is vein deep
and when he puts his hand on the ground
he'll feel it beating but now
he can't remember home
though he knows the words well enough
back paddock Steve's paddock the yard
it's just words but now the imam calls
and winds a veil around his senses
and sometimes he thinks he'll never 
get back to where he belonged


by Thomas Moore | |

Come Send Round the Wine

 Come, send round the wine, and leave points of belief 
To simpleton sages and reasoning fools; 
This moment's a flower too fair and brief 
To be wither'd and stain'd by the dust of the schools.
Your glass may be purple, and mine may be blue, But, while they are fill'd from the same bright bowl, The fool who would quarrel for difference of hue, Deserves not the comfort they shed o'er the soul.
Shall I ask the brave soldier, who fights by my side In the cause of mankind, if our creeds agree? Shall I give up the friend I have valued and tried, If he kneel not before the same altar with me? From the heretic girl of my soul should I fly? To seek somewhere else a more orthodox kiss? No, perish the hearts, and the laws that try Truth, valour, or love, by a standard like this!


by Thomas Moore | |

Dear Harp of my Country

 Dear Harp of my Country! in darkness I found thee, 
The cold chain of Silence had hung o'er thee long.
When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee, And gave all thy chords to light, freedom, and song.
The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness Have waken'd thy fondest, thy livliest thrill, But, so oft hast thou echoed the deep sigh of sadness, That even in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.
Dear Harp of my country! farewell to thy numbers, This sweet wreath of song is the last we shall twine! Go, sleep with the sunshine of Fame on thy slumbers, Till touch'd by some hand less unworthy than mine.
If the pulse of the patriot, soldier, or lover, Have throbb'd at our lay, 'tis thy glory alone; I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over, And all the wild sweetness I waked was thy own.


by Wilfred Owen | |

The Young Soldier

 It is not death
Without hereafter
To one in dearth
Of life and its laughter,

Nor the sweet murder
Dealt slow and even
Unto the martyr
Smiling at heaven:

It is the smile
Faint as a (waning) myth,
Faint, and exceeding small
On a boy's murdered mouth.


by Isaac Rosenberg | |

Louse Hunting

 Nudes -- stark and glistening,
Yelling in lurid glee.
Grinning faces And raging limbs Whirl over the floor one fire.
For a shirt verminously busy Yon soldier tore from his throat, with oaths Godhead might shrink at, but not the lice.
And soon the shirt was aflare Over the candle he'd lit while we lay.
Then we all sprang up and stript To hunt the verminous brood.
Soon like a demons' pantomine The place was raging.
See the silhouettes agape, See the glibbering shadows Mixed with the battled arms on the wall.
See gargantuan hooked fingers Pluck in supreme flesh To smutch supreme littleness.
See the merry limbs in hot Highland fling Because some wizard vermin Charmed from the quiet this revel When our ears were half lulled By the dark music Blown from Sleep's trumpet.


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Lydia Puckett

 Knowlt Hoheimer ran away to the war
The day before Curl Trenary
Swore out a warrant through Justice Arnett
For stealing hogs.
But that's not the reason he turned a soldier.
He caught me running with Lucius Atherton.
We quarreled and I told him never again To cross my path.
Then he stole the hogs and went to the war -- Back of every soldier is a woman.