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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

57 sec read
54

Quick analysis:

Scheme AAXBAB CDCDXD EFEFEF EGEGEG HDHDHD
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,065
Words 188
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

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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    "While Yet we may" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Feb. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/16983/while-yet-we-may>.

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