Wake not for the world-heard thunder, Nor the chimes that earthquakes toll; Stars may plot in heaven with planet, Lightning rive the rock of granite, Tempest tread the oakwood under, Fear not you for flesh or soul; Marching, fighting, victory past, Stretch your limbs in peace at last. Stir not for the soldier's drilling, Nor the fever nothing cures; Throb of drum and timbal's rattle Call but men alive to battle, And the fife with death-notes filling Screams for blood--but not for yours. Times enough you bled your best; Sleep on now, and take your rest. Sleep, my lad; the French have landed, London's burning, Windsor's down. Clasp your cloak of earth about you; We must man the ditch without you, March unled and fight short-handed, Charge to fall and swim to drown. Duty, friendship, bravery o'er, Sleep away, lad; wake no more.
Visit our World War I Literature collection of poems, stories, and books by authors who were there.