Soldier, go, but not to claim
Mould’ring spoils of earth-born treasure;
Not to build a vaunting name,
Not to dwell in tents of pleasure:
Dream not that the way is smooth,
Hope not that the thorns are roses;
Turn no wishful eye of youth,
Where the sunny beam reposes,
Thou hast sterner work to do
Hosts to cut thy passage thru;
Close behind thee gulfs are burning –
Forward, then there’s no returning.
Soldier, rest; – but not for thee
Spreads the world her downy pillow;
On the rock thy couch must be,
While around thee chafes the billow:
Thine must be a watchful sleep
wearier than another’s waking.
Such a charge as thou must keep,
Brooks no moment of forsaking:
Sleep as on the battlefield,
Girded – grasping sword and shield;
Those thou canst not name nor number,
Steal upon thy broken slumber.