Verse > Anthologies > George Herbert Clarke, ed. > A Treasury of War Poetry
George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953).  A Treasury of War Poetry.  1917.
135. The Fallen Subaltern
By Herbert Asquith
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;        5
  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,        10
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,        15
  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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