The Fallen Subaltern

The starshells float above, the bayonets glisten;
 We bear our fallen friend without a sound;
Below the waiting legions lie and listen
 To us, who march upon their burial-ground.
 
Wound in the flag of England, here we lay him;
 The guns will flash and thunder o’er the grave;
What other winding sheet should now array him,
 What other music should salute the brave?
 
As goes the Sun-god in his chariot glorious,
 When all his golden banners are unfurled,
So goes the soldier, fallen but victorious,
 And leaves behind a twilight in the world.
 
And those who come this way, in days hereafter,
 Will know that here a boy for England fell,
Who looked at danger with the eyes of laughter,
 And on the charge his days were ended well.
 
One last salute; the bayonets clash and glisten;
 With arms reversed we go without a sound:
One more has joined the men who lie and listen
 To us, who march upon their burial-ground.

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"The Fallen Subaltern" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 16 Oct. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/19037/the-fallen-subaltern>.

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