Walter de la Mare

The Song of the Soldiers

As I sat musing by the frozen dyke,

There was a man marching with a bright steel pike,

Marching in the dayshine like a ghost came he,

And behind me was the moaning and the murmur

Of the sea.

As I sat musing, 'twas not one but ten—

Rank on rank of ghostly soldiers marching o'er the fen,

Marching in the misty air they showed in dreams to me,

And behind me was the shouting and the shattering

of the sea.

As I sat musing, 'twas a host in dark array,

With their horses and their cannon wheeling onward to the fray,

Moving like a shadow to the fate the brave must dree,

And behind me roared the drums, rang the trumpets

of the sea.