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Sonnet

Frederick William (FW) Harvey 1888 (Hartpury, Gloucestershire) – 1957 (Yorkley, Gloucestershire)



Comrades of risk and rigour long ago
Who have done battle under honour's name,
Hoped (living or shot down) some meed of fime,
And wooed bright Danger for a thrilling kiss, —
Laugh, oh laugh well, that we have come to this !

Laugh, oh laugh loud, all ye who long ago
Adventure found in gallant company !
Safe in Stagnation, laugh, laugh bitterly.
While on this filthiest backwater of Time's flow
Drift we and rot, till something set us free !

Laugh like old men with senses atrophied,
Heeding no Present, to the Future dead,
Nodding quite foolish by the warm fireside
And seeing no flame, but only in the red
And flickering embers, pictures of the past : —
Life like a cinder fading black at last.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Frederick William (FW) Harvey

Frederick William Harvey DCM, often known as Will Harvey, and dubbed "the Laureate of Gloucestershire", was an English poet, broadcaster and solicitor whose poetry became popular during and after World War I. Harvey was born in 1888 in Hartpury, Gloucestershire, and grew up in Minsterworth. He was educated at the King's School, Gloucester, where he formed a close friendship with Ivor Gurney, and then at Rossall School. Gurney and Herbert Howells, another local composer, would set a number of his poems to music. He started on a legal career, which would always be somewhat tentative; and began to consider conversion to Roman Catholicism. more…

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    "Sonnet" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 5 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/14285/sonnet>.

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