A High Cost

See! yonder hint of flick’ring light
Across the barren field of death?
’Tis candle, lit by young lad bright
To write to those whom he has left.

‘Ere this dread war had yet begun,
That fellow there had land and wealth
And left it all behind him, gone
Abroad to face the hand of Death.

And we, in this dark trench of earth
Are meant to slay those weary souls
Who have, as we, their feasts, and mirth,
And fam’lies young, and fathers old.

Take heed, you rulers of great lands
Where forth you send your sons to die;
Why thus must they, with sword in hand,
In strange ground foreign ever lie?

About this poem

Soldiers contemplating their task

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Written on April 02, 2022

Submitted by Dirhaval on April 03, 2022

Modified on April 04, 2023

37 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 599
Words 124
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4

Shelby Minick

Shelby grew up reading from a young age and was encouraged to try her hand at different writing styles throughout her schooling years. She began writing poetry several years ago, and her influences are such poets as Tennyson, Longfellow, Kipling, and Tolkien, to name a few. more…

All Shelby Minick poems | Shelby Minick Books

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Discuss the poem A High Cost with the community...

  • dogojim3
    Many of the entries are very dark, many contain good imagery but are unpolished, as if the author scribbled them down in a passion, but never went back to proofread or revise. Many are by women complaining of faithless love, accusing but lacking introspection. This poem has none of that. It has a single thought, concisely expressed, with consistent rhyme and meter and no tortured rhymes. 
    LikeReply 12 years ago
  • sanderweeks
    This poem shows a good sense of rhythm and the imagery of the lone candle fits well with the message. An anti-war poem but also a little tribute to those fallen.
    LikeReply 12 years ago


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"A High Cost" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/126237/a-high-cost>.

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