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Famous Sentry Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Sentry poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous sentry poems. These examples illustrate what a famous sentry poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by McGonagall, William Topaz
...ed sick,
And if I hadn't lent him my arm he'd have dropped very quick. 

"And that night it was Jemmie's turn to be sentry,
And take poor Jemmie's place I did agree,
But I couldn't keep awake, father, I'm sorry to relate,
And I didn't know it, well, until it was too late. 

"Good-bye, dear father, God seems near me,
But I'm not afraid now to be launched into eternity.
No, dear father, I'm going to a world free from strife,
And see my Saviour there in a better, bet...Read More

by Service, Robert William
 'ark 'ow the bullets 'um!)
A-leanin' against the sandbags
 Wiv me rifle under me ear,
Oh, I've 'ad more thoughts on a sentry-go
 Than I used to 'ave in a year.

I wonder, Bill, if 'Ans and Fritz is wonderin' like me
 Wot's at the bottom of it all? Wot all the slaughter's for?
'E thinks 'e's right (of course 'e ain't) but this we both agree,
 If them as made it 'ad to fight, there wouldn't be no war.
If them as lies in feather beds while we kips in the mud;
 If them ...Read More

by Sassoon, Siegfried
...Through darkness curves a spume of falling flares 
That flood the field with shallow, blanching light. 
The huddled sentry stares 
On gloom at war with white, 
And white receding slow, submerged in gloom.
Guns into mimic thunder burst and boom, 
And mirthless laughter rakes the whistling night. 
The sentry keeps his watch where no one stirs 
But the brown rats, the nimble scavengers....Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard

They'll never know the shame that brands--
 Black shame no liven'' down makes white--
The mockin' from the sentry-stands,
 The women's laugh, the gaoler's spite.
 We are too bloomin'-much polite,
 But that is 'ow I'd 'ave us be . . .
Since I 'ave learned at Waterval
 The meanin' of captivity.

They'll get those draggin'' days all right,
 Spent as a foreigner commands,
An' 'orrors of the locked-up night,
 With 'Ell's own thinkin'' on their 'and...Read More

by Trumbull, John chief cashier was once a fish;
An ass, in Balaam's sad disaster,
Turn'd orator and saved his master;
A goose, placed sentry on his station,
Preserved old Rome from desolation;
An English bishop's cur of late
Disclosed rebellions 'gainst the state;
So frogs croak'd Pharaoh to repentance,
And lice delay'd the fatal sentence:
And heaven can ruin you at pleasure,
By Gage, as soon as by a Cæsar.
Yet did our hero in these days
Pick up some laurel wreaths of praise.
And a...Read More

by Trumbull, John sway."

Thus far M'Fingal told his tale,
When startling shouts his ears assail;
And strait the Constable, their sentry,
Aghast rush'd headlong down the entry,
And with wild outcry, like magician,
Dispersed the residue of vision.
For now the Whigs the news had found
Of Tories must'ring under ground,
And with rude bangs and loud uproar,
'Gan thunder furious at the door.
The lights put out, each tory calls,
To cover him on cellar walls,
Creeps in each box, or bin...Read More

by Sassoon, Siegfried
Plunging and stealing, watch the perilous way 
Through backward racing seas and caverns of chill spray.
One sentry by the davits, in the gloom 
Stands mute: the boat heaves onward through the night. 
Shrouded is every chink of cabined light: 
And sluiced by floundering waves that hiss and boom 
And crash like guns, the troop-ship shudders ... doom. 

Now something at my feet stirs with a sigh; 
And slowly growing used to groping dark, 
I know t...Read More

by Nicolson, Adela Florence Cory
...some we lost in the skirmish,
      And some were killed in the fight,
   But he was captured by fever,
      In the sentry pit, at night.

   A rifle shot had been swifter,
      Less trouble a sabre thrust,
   But his Fate decided fever,
      And each man dies as he must.

   Behind us, red in the distance.
      The wavering flames rise high,
   The flames of our burning grass-huts,
      Against the black of the sky.

   We hear the sound of the river,
  ...Read More

by Herbert, George
...1 My Soul, there is a country
2 Afar beyond the stars,
3 Where stands a winged sentry
4 All skillful in the wars;
5 There, above noise and danger
6 Sweet Peace sits, crown'd with smiles,
7 And One born in a manger
8 Commands the beauteous files.
9 He is thy gracious friend
10 And (O my Soul awake!)
11 Did in pure love descend,
12 To die here for thy sake.
13 If thou canst get but thither,
14 There grows the flow'r of peace,
15 ...Read More

by Gluck, Louise
...ndressed one,
Do now as I bid you, climb
The shelf-like branches of the spruce tree;
Wait at the top, attentive, like
A sentry or look-out. He will be home soon;
It behooves you to be
Generous. You have not been completely
Perfect either; with your troublesome body
You have done things you shouldn't
Discuss in poems. Therefore
Call out to him over the open water, over the bright
With your dark song, with your grasping,
Unnatural song--passionate,
Like Maria ...Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
..."HALT! Who goes there?” The sentry’s call 
Rose on the midnight air 
Above the noises of the camp, 
The roll of wheels, the horses’ tramp. 
The challenge echoed over all— 
“Halt! Who goes there?” 
A quaint old figure clothed in white, 
He bore a staff of pine, 
An ivy-wreath was on his head. 
“Advance, oh friend,” the sentry said, 
“Advance, for this is Christmas night, 
And gi...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...e wind? 

I hear and see not strips of cloth alone; 
I hear again the tramp of armies, I hear the challenging sentry;
I hear the jubilant shouts of millions of men—I hear LIBERTY! 
I hear the drums beat, and the trumpets yet blowing; 
I myself move abroad, swift-rising, flying then; 
I use the wings of the land-bird, and use the wings of the sea-bird, and look down as from

I do not deny the precious results of peace—I see populous cities, with wealth
 i...Read More

by Whitman, Walt in floods of melody, in tones so pensive, sweet and strong, the like whereof was
Reaching the far-off sentry, and the armed guards, who ceas’d their pacing, 
Making the hearer’s pulses stop for extasy and awe. 
2 O sight of pity, gloom, and dole! 
 O pardon me, a hapless Soul! 
The sun was low in the west one winter day,
When down a narrow aisle, amid the thieves and outlaws of the land, 
(There by the hundreds seated, sear-faced murderers, wily counterf...Read More

by Stevenson, Robert Louis
...e into the clearer air
Where westward far I roam,
Mounts with a thrill of hope,
Falls with a sigh of home.

A rural sentry, he from farm and field
The coming morn descries,
And, mankind's bugler, wakes
The camp of enterprise.

He sings the morn upon the westward hills
Strange and remote and wild;
He sings it in the land
Where once I was a child.

He brings to me dear voices of the past,
The old land and the years:
My father calls for me,
My weeping spirit hears.Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...Four Great Rivers flow,
And the Wreath of Eve is red on the turf as she left it long ago,
And if we could come when the sentry slept and softly scurry through,
By the favour of God we might know as much -- as our father Adam knew!...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
To the Triple Crown I would not bow down--
But this is a different thing.
I'11 not fight with the Powers of Air,
Sentry, pass him through!
Drawbridge let fall, 'tis the Lord of us all,
The Dreamer whose dreams come true!...Read More

by Browning, Robert
...ive and aware looked out of their places.
So, we went and found Jacynth at the entry
Of the lady's chamber standing sentry;
I told the command and produced my companion,
And Jacynth rejoiced to admit any one,
For since last night, by the same token,
Not a single word had the lady spoken:
They went in both to the presence together,
While I in the balcony watched the weather.


And now, what took place at the very first of all,
I cannot tell, as I never could le...Read More

by Tagore, Rabindranath
...his footsteps, leaves do not rustle
on the trees, and the water is still in
the river like the sword on the knees
of a sentry fallen asleep.
It is my own heart that beats wildly
--I do not know how to quiet it.
When my love comes and sits by
my side, when my body trembles and
my eyelids droop, the night darkens,
the wind blows out the lamp, and the
clouds draw veils over the stars.
It is the jewel at my own breast
that shines and gives light. I do not
know ho...Read More

by Hope, Alec Derwent (A D)
...ustice of her crimes;

To beget worthless sons and, being old,
By starlight climb the battlements, and while
The pacing sentry hugs himself for cold,
Keep vigil like a lover, muse and smile,

And think, to see from the grim castle steep 
The midnight city below rejoice and shine: 
"There my great demon grumbles in his sleep 
And dreams of his destruction, and of mine."...Read More

by Owen, Wilfred
And thud! flump! thud! down the steep steps came thumping
And splashing in the flood, deluging muck --
The sentry's body; then his rifle, handles
Of old Boche bombs, and mud in ruck on ruck.
We dredged him up, for killed, until he whined
"O sir, my eyes -- I'm blind -- I'm blind, I'm blind!"
Coaxing, I held a flame against his lids
And said if he could see the least blurred light
He was not blind; in time he'd get all right.
"I can't," he sobbed. Eyeb...Read More

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