Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
For Soldiers
By Humphrey Gifford (fl. 1580)
 
YE buds of Brutus’ land, 1 courageous youths, now play your parts;
Unto your tackle stand, abide the brunt with valiant hearts.
For news is carried to and fro, that we must forth to warfare go:
Men muster now in every place, and soldiers are prest forth apace.
Faint not, spend blood, to do your Queen and country good;        5
Fair words, good pay, will make men cast all care away.
 
The time of war is come, prepare your corslet, spear and shield;
Methinks I hear the drum strike doleful marches to the field;
Tantara, tantara, ye trumpets sound, which makes our hearts with joy abound.
The roaring guns are heard afar, and everything denounceth war.        10
Serve God; stand stout; bold courage brings this gear about;
Fear not; forth run; faint heart fair lady never won.
 
Ye curious carpet-knights, that spend the time in sport and play;
Abroad and see new sights, your country’s cause calls you away;
Do not to make your ladies’ game, bring blemish to your worthy name.        15
Away to field and win renown, with courage beat your enemies down.
Stout hearts gain praise, when dastards sail in Slander’s seas:
Hap what hap shall, we sure shall die but once for all.
 
Alarm methinks they cry, Be packing, mates; begone with speed;
Our foes are very nigh; shame have that man that shrinks at need!        20
Unto it boldly let us stand, God will give Right the upper hand.
Our cause is good, we need not doubt, in sign of courage give a shout.
March forth, be strong, good hap will come ere it be long.
Shrink not, fight well, for lusty lads must bear the bell.
 
All you that will shun evil, must dwell in warfare every day;        25
The world, the flesh, and devil, always do seek our soul’s decay.
Strive with these foes with all your might, so shall you fight a worthy fight.
That conquest doth deserve most praise, where vice do yield to virtue’s ways.
Beat down foul sin, a worthy crown then shall ye win;
If ye live well, in heaven with Christ our souls shall dwell.        30
 
Note 1. From A Posie of Gilloflowers, eche differing from other in colour and odour, yet all sweete. By Humfrey Gifford, Gent., 1580. Line 1, Ye buds of Brutus’ land: i.e., scions of England, from the mythical descent from Brutus. [back]
 
 
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