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Wake Not for the World-Heard Thunder



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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Alfred Edward Housman

Alfred Edward Housman, usually known as A. E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet, best known to the general public for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad.  more…

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    "Wake Not for the World-Heard Thunder" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 25 Jun 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/938/wake-not-for-the-world-heard-thunder>.

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