Well known the structure of poem.


How similar is “The Soldier” to “Drummer Hodge”? 

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Find and Read the two poem mentioned by the prompt in the pdf.

Write a short essay about 225-275 words.

In the essay you should discover three similar places in both poem.

Homer, from The Iliad (22. The Death of Hector) ……………………………………………………………………… 2
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Charge Of The Light Brigade” …………………………………………………..12
Sir Henry Newbolt, Vitai Lampada ………………………………………………………………………………………………14
Thomas Hardy, “Drummer Hodge” ………………………………………………………………………………………………15
Rupert Brooke, “The Soldier”………………………………………………………………………………………………………..16
Siegfried Sassoon, “They” ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………17
Wilfred Owen, “Anthem for Doomed Youth” ……………………………………………………………………………..18
Wilfred Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est” ……………………………………………………………………………………….19
Jessie Pope, “War Girls”………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….20
Homer, from The Iliad (22. The Death of Hector)
[The following section of The Iliad deals with the death of the Trojan prince Hector. He had
killed the Greek Patroclus, believing him to be Achilles. In this section, Achilles—the
greatest of the Greek warriors and Patroclus’ best friend—seeks to avenge his friend’s
Thus the Trojans in the city, scared like fawns, wiped the sweat from off them and drank to
quench their thirst, leaning against the goodly battlements, while the Achaeans with their
shields laid upon their shoulders drew close up to the walls. But stern fate bade Hector stay
where he was before Ilius and the Scaean gates. Then Phoebus Apollo spoke to the son of
Peleus saying, “Why, son of Peleus, do you, who are but man, give chase to me who am
immortal? Have you not yet found out that it is a god whom you pursue so furiously? You
did not harass the Trojans whom you had routed, and now they are within their walls,
while you have been decoyed hither away from them. Me you cannot kill, for death can take
no hold upon me.”
Achilles was greatly angered and said, “You have baulked me, Far-Darter, most malicious of
all gods, and have drawn me away from the wall, where many another man would have
bitten the dust ere he got within Ilius; you have robbed me of great glory and have saved
the Trojans at no risk to yourself, for you have nothing to fear, but I would indeed have my
revenge if it were in my power to do so.”
On this, with fell intent he made towards the city, and as the winning horse in a chariot race
strains every nerve when he is flying over the plain, even so fast and furiously did the limbs
of Achilles bear him onwards. King Priam was first to note him as he scoured the plain, all
radiant as the star which men call Orion’s Hound, and whose beams blaze forth in time of
harvest more brilliantly than those of any other that shines by night; brightest of them all
though he be, he yet bodes ill for mortals, for he brings fire and fever in his train- even so
did Achilles’ armour gleam on his breast as he sped onwards. Priam raised a cry and beat
his head with his hands as he lifted them up and shouted out to his dear son, imploring him
to return; but Hector still stayed before the gates, for his heart was set upon doing battle
with Achilles. The old man reached out his arms towards him and bade him for pity’s sake
come within the walls. “Hector,” he cried, “my son, stay not to face this man alone and
unsupported, or you will meet death at the hands of the son of Peleus, for he is mightier
than you. Monster that he is; would indeed that the gods loved him no better than I do, for
so, dogs and vultures would soon devour him as he lay stretched on earth, and a load of
grief would be lifted from my heart, for many a brave son has he reft from me, either by
killing them or selling them away in the islands that are beyond the sea: even now I miss
two sons from among the Trojans who have thronged within the city, Lycaon and
Polydorus, whom Laothoe peeress among women bore me. Should they be still alive and in
the hands of the Achaeans, we will ransom them with gold and bronze, of which we have
store, for the old man Altes endowed his daughter richly; but if they are already dead and in
the house of Hades, sorrow will it be to us two who were their parents; albeit the grief of
others will be more short-lived unless you too perish at the hands of Achilles. Come, then,
my son, within the city, to be the guardian of Trojan men and Trojan women, or you will
both lose your own life and afford a mighty triumph to the son of Peleus. Have pity also on
your unhappy father while life yet remains to him- on me, whom the son of Saturn will
destroy by a terrible doom on the threshold of old age, after I have seen my sons slain and
my daughters haled away as captives, my bridal chambers pillaged, little children dashed to
earth amid the rage of battle, and my sons’ wives dragged away by the cruel hands of the
Achaeans; in the end fierce hounds will tear me in pieces at my own gates after some one
has beaten the life out of my body with sword or spear-hounds that I myself reared and fed
at my own table to guard my gates, but who will yet lap my blood and then lie all distraught
at my doors. When a young man falls by the sword in battle, he may lie where he is and
there is nothing unseemly; let what will be seen, all is honourable in death, but when an old
man is slain there is nothing in this world more pitiable than that dogs should defile his
grey hair and beard and all that men hide for shame.”
The old man tore his grey hair as he spoke, but he moved not the heart of Hector. His
mother hard by wept and moaned aloud as she bared her bosom and pointed to the breast
which had suckled him. “Hector,” she cried, weeping bitterly the while, “Hector, my son,
spurn not this breast, but have pity upon me too: if I have ever given you comfort from my
own bosom, think on it now, dear son, and come within the wall to protect us from this
man; stand not without to meet him. Should the wretch kill you, neither I nor your richly
dowered wife shall ever weep, dear offshoot of myself, over the bed on which you lie, for
dogs will devour you at the ships of the Achaeans.”
Thus did the two with many tears implore their son, but they moved not the heart of
Hector, and he stood his ground awaiting huge Achilles as he drew nearer towards him. As
serpent in its den upon the mountains, full fed with deadly poisons, waits for the approach
of man- he is filled with fury and his eyes glare terribly as he goes writhing round his den-
even so Hector leaned his shield against a tower that jutted out from the wall and stood
where he was, undaunted.
“Alas,” said he to himself in the heaviness of his heart, “if I go within the gates, Polydamas
will be the first to heap reproach upon me, for it was he that urged me to lead the Trojans
back to the city on that awful night when Achilles again came forth against us. I would not
listen, but it would have been indeed better if I had done so. Now that my folly has
destroyed the host, I dare not look Trojan men and Trojan women in the face, lest a worse
man should say, ‘Hector has ruined us by his self-confidence.’ Surely it would be better for
me to return after having fought Achilles and slain him, or to die gloriously here before the
city. What, again, if were to lay down my shield and helmet, lean my spear against the wall
and go straight up to noble Achilles? What if I were to promise to give up Helen, who was
the fountainhead of all this war, and all the treasure that Alexandrus brought with him in
his ships to Troy, aye, and to let the Achaeans divide the half of everything that the city
contains among themselves? I might make the Trojans, by the mouths of their princes, take
a solemn oath that they would hide nothing, but would divide into two shares all that is
within the city- but why argue with myself in this way? Were I to go up to him he would
show me no kind of mercy; he would kill me then and there as easily as though I were a
woman, when I had off my armour. There is no parleying with him from some rock or oak
tree as young men and maidens prattle with one another. Better fight him at once, and
learn to which of us Jove will vouchsafe victory.”
Thus did he stand and ponder, but Achilles came up to him as it were Mars himself, plumed
lord of battle. From his right shoulder he brandished his terrible spear of Pelian ash, and
the bronze gleamed around him like flashing fire or the rays of the rising sun. Fear fell upon
Hector as he beheld him, and he dared not stay longer where he was but fled in dismay
from before the gates, while Achilles darted after him at his utmost speed. As a mountain
falcon, swiftest of all birds, swoops down upon some cowering dove- the dove flies before
him but the falcon with a shrill scream follows close after, resolved to have her- even so did
Achilles make straight for Hector with all his might, while Hector fled under the Trojan wall
as fast as his limbs could take him.
On they flew along the waggon-road that ran hard by under the wall, past the lookout
station, and past the weather-beaten wild fig-tree, till they came to two fair springs which
feed the river Scamander. One of these two springs is warm, and steam rises from it as
smoke from a burning fire, but the other even in summer is as cold as hail or snow, or the
ice that forms on water. Here, hard by the springs, are the goodly washing-troughs of stone,
where in the time of peace before the coming of the Achaeans the wives and fair daughters
of the Trojans used to wash their clothes. Past these did they fly, the one in front and the
other giving ha. behind him: good was the man that fled, but better far was he that followed
after, and swiftly indeed did they run, for the prize was no mere beast for sacrifice or
bullock’s hide, as it might be for a common foot-race, but they ran for the life of Hector. As
horses in a chariot race speed round the turning-posts when they are running for some
great prize- a tripod or woman- at the games in honour of some dead hero, so did these two
run full speed three times round the city of Priam. All the gods watched them, and the sire
of gods and men was the first to speak.
“Alas,” said he, “my eyes behold a man who is dear to me being pursued round the walls of
Troy; my heart is full of pity for Hector, who has burned the thigh-bones of many a heifer in
my honour, at one while on the of many-valleyed Ida, and again on the citadel of Troy; and
now I see noble Achilles in full pursuit of him round the city of Priam. What say you?
Consider among yourselves and decide whether we shall now save him or let him fall,
valiant though he be, before Achilles, son of Peleus.”
Then Minerva said, “Father, wielder of the lightning, lord of cloud and storm, what mean
you? Would you pluck this mortal whose doom has long been decreed out of the jaws of
death? Do as you will, but we others shall not be of a mind with you.”
And Jove answered, “My child, Trito-born, take heart. I did not speak in full earnest, and I
will let you have your way. Do without let or hindrance as you are minded.”
Thus did he urge Minerva who was already eager, and down she darted from the topmost
summits of Olympus.
Achilles was still in full pursuit of Hector, as a hound chasing a fawn which he has started
from its covert on the mountains, and hunts through glade and thicket. The fawn may try to
elude him by crouching under cover of a bush, but he will scent her out and follow her up
until he gets her- even so there was no escape for Hector from the fleet son of Peleus.
Whenever he made a set to get near the Dardanian gates and under the walls, that his
people might help him by showering down weapons from above, Achilles would gain on
him and head him back towards the plain, keeping himself always on the city side. As a man
in a dream who fails to lay hands upon another whom he is pursuing- the one cannot
escape nor the other overtake- even so neither could Achilles come up with Hector, nor
Hector break away from Achilles; nevertheless he might even yet have escaped death had
not the time come when Apollo, who thus far had sustained his strength and nerved his
running, was now no longer to stay by him. Achilles made signs to the Achaean host, and
shook his head to show that no man was to aim a dart at Hector, lest another might win the
glory of having hit him and he might himself come in second. Then, at last, as they were
nearing the fountains for the fourth time, the father of all balanced his golden scales and
placed a doom in each of them, one for Achilles and the other for Hector. As he held the
scales by the middle, the doom of Hector fell down deep into the house of Hades- and then
Phoebus Apollo left him. Thereon Minerva went close up to the son of Peleus and said,
“Noble Achilles, favoured of heaven, we two shall surely take back to the ships a triumph
for the Achaeans by slaying Hector, for all his lust of battle. Do what Apollo may as he lies
grovelling before his father, aegis-bearing Jove, Hector cannot escape us longer. Stay here
and take breath, while I go up to him and persuade him to make a stand and fight you.”
Thus spoke Minerva. Achilles obeyed her gladly, and stood still, leaning on his bronzepointed ashen spear, while Minerva left him and went after Hector in the form and with the
voice of Deiphobus. She came close up to him and said, “Dear brother, I see you are hard
pressed by Achilles who is chasing you at full speed round the city of Priam, let us await his
onset and stand on our defence.”
And Hector answered, “Deiphobus, you have always been dearest to me of all my brothers,
children of Hecuba and Priam, but henceforth I shall rate you yet more highly, inasmuch as
you have ventured outside the wall for my sake when all the others remain inside.”
Then Minerva said, “Dear brother, my father and mother went down on their knees and
implored me, as did all my comrades, to remain inside, so great a fear has fallen upon them
all; but I was in an agony of grief when I beheld you; now, therefore, let us two make a
stand and fight, and let there be no keeping our spears in reserve, that we may learn
whether Achilles shall kill us and bear off our spoils to the ships, or whether he shall fall
before you.”
Thus did Minerva inveigle him by her cunning, and when the two were now close to one
another great Hector was first to speak. “I will-no longer fly you, son of Peleus,” said he, “as
I have been doing hitherto. Three times have I fled round the mighty city of Priam, without
daring to withstand you, but now, let me either slay or be slain, for I am in the mind to face
you. Let us, then, give pledges to one another by our gods, who are the fittest witnesses and
guardians of all covenants; let it be agreed between us that if Jove vouchsafes me the longer
stay and I take your life, I am not to treat your dead body in any unseemly fashion, but
when I have stripped you of your armour, I am to give up your body to the Achaeans. And
do you likewise.”
Achilles glared at him and answered, “Fool, prate not to me about covenants. There can be
no covenants between men and lions, wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, but hate
each other out and out an through. Therefore there can be no understanding between you
and me, nor may there be any covenants between us, till one or other shall fall and glut
grim Mars with his life’s blood. Put forth all your strength; you have need now to prove
yourself indeed a bold soldier and man of war. You have no more chance, and Pallas
Minerva will forthwith vanquish you by my spear: you shall now pay me in full for the grief
you have caused me on account of my comrades whom you have killed in battle.”
He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it. Hector saw it coming and avoided it; he
watched it and crouched down so that it flew over his head and stuck in the ground
beyond; Minerva then snatched it up and gave it back to Achilles without Hector’s seeing
her; Hector thereon said to the son of Peleus, “You have missed your aim, Achilles, peer of
the gods, and Jove has not yet revealed to you the hour of my doom, though you made sure
that he had done so. You were a false-tongued liar when you deemed that I should forget
my valour and quail before you. You shall not drive spear into the back of a runaway- drive
it, should heaven so grant you power, drive it into me as I make straight towards you; and
now for your own part avoid my spear if you can- would that you might receive the whole
of it into your body; if you were once dead the Trojans would find the war an easier matter,
for it is you who have harmed them most.”
He poised his spear as he spoke and hurled it. His aim was true for he hit the middle of
Achilles’ shield, but the spear rebounded from it, and did not pierce it. Hector was angry
when he saw that the weapon had sped from his hand in vain, and stood there in dismay for
he had no second spear. With a loud cry he called Diphobus and asked him for one, but
there was no man; then he saw the truth and said to himself, “Alas! the gods have lured me
on to my destruction. I deemed that the hero Deiphobus was by my side, but he is within
the wall, and Minerva has inveigled me; death is now indeed exceedingly near at hand and
there is no way out of it- for so Jove and his son Apollo the far-darter have willed it, though
heretofore they have been ever ready to protect me. My doom has come upon me; let me
not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that
shall be told among men hereafter.”
As he spoke he drew the keen blade that hung so great and strong by his side, and
gathering himself together be sprang on Achilles like a soaring eagle which swoops down
from the clouds on to some lamb or timid hare- even so did Hector brandish his sword and
spring upon Achilles. Achilles mad with rage darted towards him, with his wondrous shield
before his breast, and his gleaming helmet, made with four layers of metal, nodding fiercely
forward. The thick tresses of gold wi which Vulcan had crested the helmet floated round it,
and as the evening star that shines brighter than all others through the stillness of night,
even such was the gleam of the spear which Achilles poised in his right hand, fraught with
the death of noble Hector. He eyed his fair flesh over and over to see where he could best
wound it, but all was protected by the goodly armour of which Hector had spoiled
Patroclus after he had slain him, save only the throat where the collar-bones divide the
neck from the shoulders, and this is a most deadly place: here then did Achilles strike him
as he was coming on towards him, and the point of his spear went right through the fleshy
part of the neck, but it did not sever his windpipe so that he could still speak. Hector fell
headlong, and Achilles vaunted over him saying, “Hector, you deemed that you should come
off scatheless when you were spoiling Patroclus, and recked not of myself who was not
with him. Fool that you were: for I, his comrade, mightier far than he, was still left behind
him at the ships, and now I have laid you low. The Achaeans shall give him all due funeral
rites, while dogs and vultures shall work their will upon yourself.”
Then Hector said, as the life ebbed out of him, “I pray you by your life and knees, and by
your parents, let not dogs devour me at the ships of the Achaeans, but accept the rich
treasure of gold and bronze which my father and mother will offer you, and send my body
home, that the Trojans and their wives may give me my dues of fire when I am dead.”
Achilles glared at him and answered, “Dog, talk not to me neither of knees nor parents;
would that I could be as sure of being able to cut your flesh into pieces and eat it raw, for
the ill have done me, as I am that nothing shall save you from the dogs- it shall not be,
though they bring ten or twenty-fold ransom and weigh it out for me on the spot, with
promise of yet more hereafter. Though Priam son of Dardanus should bid them offer me
your weight in gold, even so your mother shall never lay you out and make lament over the
son she bore, but dogs and vultures shall eat you utterly up.”
Hector with his dying breath then said, “I know you what you are, and was sure that I
should not move you, for your heart is hard as iron; look to it that I bring not heaven’s
anger upon you on the day when Paris and Phoebus Apollo, valiant though you be, shall
slay you at the Scaean gates.”
When he had thus said the shrouds of death enfolded him, whereon his soul went out of
him and flew down to the house of Hades, lamenting its sad fate that it should en’ youth and
strength no longer. But Achilles said, speaking to the dead body, “Die; for my part I will
accept my fate whensoever Jove and the other gods see fit to send it.”
As he spoke he drew his spear from the body and set it on one side; then he stripped the
blood-stained armour from Hector’s shoulders while the other Achaeans came running up
to view his wondrous strength and beauty; and no one came near him without giving him a
fresh wound. Then would one turn to his neighbour and say, “It is easier to handle Hector
now than when he was flinging fire on to our ships” and as he spoke he would thrust his
spear into him anew.
When Achilles had done spoiling Hector of his armour, he stood among the Argives and
said, “My friends, princes and counsellors of the Argives, now that heaven has vouchsafed
us to overcome this man, who has done us more hurt than all the others together, consider
whether we should not attack the city in force, and discover in what mind the Trojans may
be. We should thus learn whether they will desert their city now that Hector has fallen, or
will still hold out even though he is no longer living. But why argue with myself in this way,
while Patroclus is still lying at the ships unburied, and unmourned- he Whom I can never
forget so long as I am alive and my strength fails not? Though men forget their dead when
once they are within the house of Hades, yet not even there will I forget the comrade whom
I have lost. Now, therefore, Achaean youths, let us raise the song of victory and go back to
the ships taking this man along with us; for we have achieved a mighty triumph and have
slain noble Hector to whom the Trojans prayed throughout their city as though he were a
On this he treated the body of Hector with contumely: he pierced the sinews at the back of
both his feet from heel to ancle and passed thongs of ox-hide through the slits he had made:
thus he made the body fast to his chariot, letting the head trail upon the ground. Then when
he had put the goodly armour on the chariot and had himself mounted, he lashed his horses
on and they flew forward nothing loth. The dust rose from Hector as he was being dragged
along, his dark hair flew all abroad, and his head once so comely was laid low on earth, for
Jove had now delivered him into the hands of his foes to do him outrage in his own land.
Thus was the head of Hector being dishonoured in the dust. His mother tore her hair, and
flung her veil from her with a loud cry as she looked upon her son. His father made piteous
moan, and throughout the city the people fell to weeping and wailing. It was as though the
whole of frowning Ilius was being smirched with fire. Hardly could the people hold Priam
back in his hot haste to rush without the gates of the city. He grovelled in the mire and
besought them, calling each one of them by his name. “Let be, my friends,” he cried, “and for
all your sorrow, suffer me to go single-handed to the ships of the Achaeans. Let me beseech
this cruel and terrible man, if maybe he will respect the feeling of his fellow-men, and have
compassion on my old age. His own father is even such another as myself- Peleus, who bred
him and reared him to- be the bane of us Trojans, and of myself more than of all others.
Many a son of mine has he slain in the flower of his youth, and yet, grieve for these as I may,
I do so for one- Hector- more than for them all, and the bitterness of my sorrow will bring
me down to the house of Hades. Would that he had died in my arms, for so both his illstarred mother who bore him, and myself, should have had the comfort of weeping and
mourning over him.”
Thus did he speak with many tears, and all the people of the city joined in his lament.
Hecuba then raised the cry of wailing among the Trojans. “Alas, my son,” she cried, “what
have I left to live for now that you are no more? Night and day did I glory in. you
throughout the city, for you were a tower of strength to all in Troy, and both men and
women alike hailed you as a god. So long as you lived you were their pride, but now death
and destruction have fallen upon you.”
Hector’s wife had as yet heard nothing, for no one had come to tell her that her husband
had remained without the gates. She was at her loom in an inner part of the house, weaving
a double purple web, and embroidering it with many flowers. She told her maids to set a
large tripod on the fire, so as to have a warm bath ready for Hector when he came out of
battle; poor woman, she knew not that he was now beyond the reach of baths, and that
Minerva had laid him low by the hands of Achilles. She heard the cry coming as from the
wall, and trembled in every limb; the shuttle fell from her hands, and again she spoke to her
waiting-women. “Two of you,” she said, “come with me that I may learn what it is that has
befallen; I heard the voice of my husband’s honoured mother; my own heart beats as
though it would come into my mouth and my limbs refuse to carry me; some great
misfortune for Priam’s children must be at hand. May I never live to hear it, but I greatly
fear that Achilles has cut off the retreat of brave Hector and has chased him on to the plain
where he was singlehanded; I fear he may have put an end to the reckless daring which
possessed my husband, who would never remain with the body of his men, but would dash
on far in front, foremost of them all in valour.”
Her heart beat fast, and as she spoke she flew from the house like a maniac, with her
waiting-women following after. When she reached the battlements and the crowd of
people, she stood looking out upon the wall, and saw Hector being borne away in front of
the city- the horses dragging him without heed or care over the ground towards the ships
of the Achaeans. Her eyes were then shrouded as with the darkness of night and she fell
fainting backwards. She tore the tiring from her head and flung it from her, the frontlet and
net with its plaited band, and the veil which golden Venus had given her on the day when
Hector took her with him from the house of Eetion, after having given countless gifts of
wooing for her sake. Her husband’s sisters and the wives of his brothers crowded round
her and supported her, for she was fain to die in her distraction; when she again presently
breathed and came to herself, she sobbed and made lament among the Trojans saying,
‘Woe is me, O Hector; woe, indeed, that to share a common lot we were born, you at Troy in
the house of Priam, and I at Thebes under the wooded mountain of Placus in the house of
Eetion who brought me up when I was a child- ill-starred sire of an ill-starred daughter-
would that he had never begotten me. You are now going into the house of Hades under the
secret places of the earth, and you leave me a sorrowing widow in your house. The child, of
whom you and I are the unhappy parents, is as yet a mere infant. Now that you are gone, O
Hector, you can do nothing for him nor he for you. Even though he escape the horrors of
this woful war with the Achaeans, yet shall his life henceforth be one of labour and sorrow,
for others will seize his lands. The day that robs a child of his parents severs him from his
own kind; his head is bowed, his cheeks are wet with tears, and he will go about destitute
among the friends of his father, plucking one by the cloak and another by the shirt. Some
one or other of these may so far pity him as to hold the cup for a moment towards him and
let him moisten his lips, but he must not drink enough to wet the roof of his mouth; then
one whose parents are alive will drive him from the table with blows and angry words. ‘Out
with you,’ he will say, ‘you have no father here,’ and the child will go crying back to his
widowed mother- he, Astyanax, who erewhile would sit upon his father’s knees, and have
none but the daintiest and choicest morsels set before him. When he had played till he was
tired and went to sleep, he would lie in a bed, in the arms of his nurse, on a soft couch,
knowing neither want nor care, whereas now that he has lost his father his lot will be full of
hardship- he, whom the Trojans name Astyanax, because you, O Hector, were the only
defence of their gates and battlements. The wriggling writhing worms will now eat you at
the ships, far from your parents, when the dogs have glutted themselves upon you. You will
lie naked, although in your house you have fine and goodly raiment made by hands of
women. This will I now burn; it is of no use to you, for you can never again wear it, and thus
you will have respect shown you by the Trojans both men and women.”
In such wise did she cry aloud amid her tears, and the women joined in her lament.
[Text from The Internet Classics Archive: http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.22.xxii.html]

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Charge Of The Light Brigade”
Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854
Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d ?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d & thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter’d & sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Sir Henry Newbolt, Vitai Lampada
THERE’S a breathless hush in the Close to-night –
Ten to make and the match to win –
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it’s not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season’s fame,
But his Captain’s hand on his shoulder smote
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”
The sand of the desert is sodden red, –
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; –
The Gatling’s jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England’s far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”
This is the word that year by year
While in her place the School is set
Every one of her sons must hear,
And none that hears it dare forget.
This they all with a joyful mind
Bear through life like a torch in flame,
And falling fling to the host behind –
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”

Thomas Hardy, “Drummer Hodge”
They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
Uncoffined – just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around;
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound.
Young Hodge the Drummer never knew –
Fresh from his Wessex home –
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
Strange stars amid the gloam.
Yet portion of that unknown plain
Will Hodge forever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
Grow to some Southern tree,
And strange-eyed constellation reign
His stars eternally.
Rupert Brooke, “The Soldier”
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Siegfried Sassoon, “They”
THE Bishop tells us: ‘When the boys come back
‘They will not be the same; for they’ll have fought
‘In a just cause: they lead the last attack
‘On Anti-Christ; their comrades’ blood has bought
‘New right to breed an honourable race,
‘They have challenged Death and dared him face to face.’

‘We’re none of us the same!’ the boys reply.
‘For George lost both his legs; and Bill’s stone blind;
‘Poor Jim’s shot through the lungs and like to die;
‘And Bert’s gone syphilitic: you’ll not find
‘A chap who’s served that hasn’t found some change.’
And the Bishop said: ‘The ways of God are strange!’
Wilfred Owen, “Anthem for Doomed Youth”
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, —
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
Wilfred Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est”
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.
GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
Jessie Pope, “War Girls”
There’s the girl who clips your ticket for the train,
And the girl who speeds the lift from floor to floor,
There’s the girl who does a milk-round in the rain,
And the girl who calls for orders at your door.
Strong, sensible, and fit,
They’re out to show their grit,
And tackle jobs with energy and knack.
No longer caged and penned up,
They’re going to keep their end up
Till the khaki soldier boys come marching back.
There’s the motor girl who drives a heavy van,
There’s the butcher girl who brings your joint of meat,
There’s the girl who cries ‘All fares, please!’ like a man,
And the girl who whistles taxis up the street.
Beneath each uniform
Beats a heart that’s soft and warm,
Though of canny mother-wit they show no lack;
But a solemn statement this is,
They’ve no time for love and kisses
Till the khaki soldier-boys come marching back.


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