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The Song Of The Soldier-Born

 Give me the scorn of the stars and a peak defiant;
Wail of the pines and a wind with the shout of a giant;
Night and a trail unknown and a heart reliant.
Give me to live and love in the old, bold fashion; A soldier's billet at night and a soldier's ration; A heart that leaps to the fight with a soldier's passion.
For I hold as a simple faith there's no denying: The trade of a soldier's the only trade worth plying; The death of a soldier's the only death worth dying.
So let me go and leave your safety behind me; Go to the spaces of hazard where nothing shall bind me; Go till the word is War -- and then you will find me.
Then you will call me and claim me because you will need me; Cheer me and gird me and into the battle-wrath speed me.
And when it's over, spurn me and no longer heed me.
For guile and a purse gold-greased are the arms you carry; With deeds of paper you fight and with pens you parry; You call on the hounds of the law your foes to harry.
You with your "Art for its own sake", posing and prinking; You with your "Live and be merry", eating and drinking; You with your "Peace at all hazard", from bright blood shrinking.
Fools! I will tell you now: though the red rain patters, And a million of men go down, it's little it matters.
There's the Flag upflung to the stars, though it streams in tatters.
There's a glory gold never can buy to yearn and to cry for; There's a hope that's as old as the sky to suffer and sigh for; There's a faith that out-dazzles the sun to martyr and die for.
Ah no! it's my dream that War will never be ended; That men will perish like men, and valour be splendid; That the Flag by the sword will be served, and honour defended.
That the tale of my fights will never be ancient story; That though my eye may be dim and my beard be hoary, I'll die as a soldier dies on the Field of Glory.
So give me a strong right arm for a wrong's swift righting; Stave of a song on my lips as my sword is smiting; Death in my boots may-be, but fighting, fighting.

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