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SOLDIERS
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[ Also see Adventure Army Audacity Bravery Commanders Conquest Courage Cowardice Cowards Daring Decoration Day Fame Fortitude Glory Heroes Liberty Love of Country Military Navy Patriotism Peace Rebellion Sailors Valor Victory War World Peace Wounds Youth Zeal ]

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
         (l. 155)

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),
        Rouge Bouquet


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