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While Yet we may

Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant 1864 (Bridgwater, Somerset) – 1902 (Pretoria)



Ancient, wrinkled dames and jealous -
  They whom joyless Age downcasts -
And the sere, gray-bearded fellows
  Who would fain re-live their pasts -
These, the ancients, grimly tell us:
  'Vows are vain, and no love lasts.'

Fleeting years fulfil Fate's sentence,
  Eyes must dim, and hair turn gray,
Age bring wrinkles, p'rhaps repentance;
  Youth shall quickly hie away,
And that time when youth has went hence,
  We - and love - have had our day.

Let the world, and fuming, fretting,
  Busy worldlings pass us by,
Bent on piles of lucre getting -
  They shall lose it when they die;
Past and future, sweet! forgetting -
  Seize the present ere it fly.

Your bright eyes are soft and smiling,
  Pouting lips are moist and red,
And your whispers wondrous wiling -
  Surely they would quick the dead -
And these hours they're now beguiling,
  All too hasty will have fled.

Years may bring a dole of sorrow,
  Time enough to fast and pray,
From the present pleasures borrow,
  Let the distant future pay;
Leave the penance for the morrow,
  Sweetheart! love and laugh to-day.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant

Harry "Breaker" Harbord Morant (born Edwin Henry Murrant, 9 December 1864 – 27 February 1902) was an Anglo-Australian drover, horseman, bush poet and military officer, who was convicted and executed for murder during the Second Anglo-Boer War. While serving with the Bushveldt Carbineers during the Second Anglo-Boer War, Lieutenant Morant was arrested and court-martialed for war crimes—one of the first such prosecutions in British military history. According to military prosecutors, Morant retaliated for the death in combat of his commanding officer with a series of revenge killings against both Boer POWs and many civilian residents of the Northern Transvaal. more…

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