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I have seen men march to the wars, and then
I have watched their homeward tread,
And they brought back bodies of living men,
But their eyes were fold and dead.
So, Buddy no matter what else the fame,
No matter what else the prize,
I want you to come back thru The Flame
With the boy-look still in your eyes!
- Edmund Vance Cooke, The Boy-Look
To swear, to game, to drink, to show at home
By lewdness, idleness, and Sabbath-breach,
The great proficiency he made abroad,
T' astonish and to grieve his gazing friends,
To break some maiden's and his mother's heart,
To be a pest where he was useful once.
Are his sole aim, and all his glory now.
- William Cowper
He stands erect; his slouch becomes a walk;
He steps right onward, martial in his air,
His form and movement.
- William Cowper, Task (bk. IV, l. 638)
Soldiers in arms! Defenders of our soil!
Who from destruction save us; who from spoil
Protect the sons of peace, who traffic or who toil;
Would I could duly praise you, that each deed
Your foe's might honor, and your friends might read.
- George Crabbe
I hate these potent madmen, who keep all
Mankind awake, while they by their great deeds
Are drumming hard upon this hollow world,
Only to make a sound to last for ages.
- John Crowne
Far in foreign fields from Dunkirk to Belgrade
Lie the soldiers and chiefs of the Irish Brigade.
- Thomas Osborne Davis,
Battle Eve of the Brigade
His helmet now shall make
A hive for bees.
- Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, Sonnet
So let his name through Europe ring!
A man of mean estate,
Who dies as firm as Sparta's king,
Because his soul was great.
- Sir Francis Hastings Charles Doyle, 2nd Baronet Doyle,
The Private of the Buffs
Mouths without hands; maintained at vast expense,
In peace a charge, in war a weak defense:
Stout once a month they march, a blustering band,
And ever, but in times of need, at hand.
- John Dryden, Cymon and Iphigenia (l. 401)
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
- Albert Einstein
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the Judgment Day;
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.
- Francis Miles Finch, The Blue and the Gray
Old soldiers never die,
They simply fade away.
- J. Foley, Old Soldiers Never Die,
copyrighted by him, but probably from a World War I song
Such is the country maiden's fright,
When first a red-coat is in sight;
Behind the door she hides her face;
Next time at distance eyes the lace.
- John Gay
We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.
- James Sloan Gibbons,
published anonymously in the New York "Evening Post", July 16, 1862
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay;
Sat by his fire, and talked the night away,
Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done,
Shoulder'd his crutch, and show'd how fields were won.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village
Wake, soldier wake, thy war-horse waits
To bear thee to the battle back;--
Thou slumberest at a foeman's gates,--
Thy dog would break thy bivouac;
Thy plume is trailing in the dust,
And thy red falchion gathering rust.
- Thomas Kibble Hervey, Dead Trumpeter
Nothing is more binding than the friendship of companions-in-arms.
- George Stillman Hillard
He slept an iron sleep,--
Slain fighting for his country.
- Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
(bk. XI, l. 285), (Bryant's translation)
The sex is ever to a soldier kind.
- Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
(bk. XIV, l. 246), (Pope's translation)
Ben Battle was a soldier bold,
And used to war's alarms;
But a cannon-ball took off his legs,
So he laid down his arms.
- Thomas Hood, Faithless Nellie Gray
But for you, it shall be forever Spring,
And only you shall be forever fearless,
And only you shall have white, straight, tireless limbs,
And only you, where the water lily swims,
Shall walk along pathways, thro' the willows
Of your West.
You who went West,
And only you on silvery twilight pillows
Shall take your rest
In the soft, sweet glooms
Of twilight rooms.
- Ford Madox Hueffer (Ford Madox Ford),
One Day's List
Enough of merit has each honored name
To shine untarnished on the rolls of fame,
And add new lustre to the historic page.
- David Humphreys
Soldiers looked at as they ought to be. They are to the world as poppies to corn-fields.
- Douglas William Jerrold
The Seconds that tick as the clock moves along
Are Privates who march with a spirit so strong.
The Minutes are Captains. The Hours of the day
Are Officers brave, who lead on to the fray.
So, remember, when tempted to loiter and dream
You've an army at hand; your command is supreme;
And question yourself, as it goes on review--
Had it helped in the fight with the best it could do?
- Philander Chase Johnson p. 36,
said by Paymaster Gen. McGowan during World War I, "Everybody's Mag."
In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet,
There is a new-made grave today,
Built by never a spade nor pick,
Yet covered with earth ten meteres thick.
There lie many fighting men.
Dead in their youthful prime.
- Joyce Kilmer (Alfred Joyce Kilmer),
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