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Famous Subaltern Poems by Famous Poets

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

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by Newbolt, Sir Henry
...lovely morning -- 
And when I mounted again to canter back 
I saw across a field in the broad sunlight 
A young Gunner Subaltern, stalking along 
With a rook-rifle held at the read, and -- would you believe it? -- 
A domestic cat, soberly marching beside him. 

So I laughed, and felt quite well disposed to the youngster, 
And shouted out "the top of the morning" to him, 
And wished him "Good sport!" -- and then I remembered 
My rank, and his, and what I ought to be doing...Read More

by Sassoon, Siegfried
...He turned to me with his kind, sleepy gaze 
And fresh face slowly brightening to the grin 
That sets my memory back to summer days, 
With twenty runs to make, and last man in. 
He told me he’d been having a bloody time
In trenches, crouching for the crumps to burst, 
While squeaking rats scampered across the slime 
And the grey palsied weather did its ...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard

A Snider squibbed in the jungle,
 Somebody laughed and fled,
And the men of the First Shikaris
 Picked up their Subaltern dead,
With a big blue mark in his forehead
 And the back blown out of his head.

Subadar Prag Tewarri,
 Jemadar Hira Lal,
Took command of the party,
 Twenty rifles in all,
Marched them down to the river
 As the day was beginning to fall.

They buried the boy by the river,
 A blanket over his face --
They wept for their dead Lieutenant,
 The...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
...urnished quarters --
Then proposed to Minnie Boffkin, eldest of Judge Boffkin's daughters.
Certainly an impecunious Subaltern was not a catch,
But the Boffkins knew that Minnie mightn't make another match.

So they recognised the business and, to feed and clothe the bride,
Got him made a Something Something somewhere on the Bombay side.
Anyhow, the billet carried pay enough for him to marry --
As the artless Sleary put it: -- "Just the thing for me and Carrie....Read More

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