Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
The Fireman
By Stephen Phillips (1868–1915)
 
(An impression of the street)

HIS foe is fire, fire, fire!
Hark his hoarse dispersing cry,
From his path asunder fly!
Speed! or men and women die,
For his foe is fire, fire!        5
 
His foe is fire, fire, fire!
He is armed and helmed in brass;
Let his thundering chargers pass;
Be the iron Strand as grass,
For their foe is fire, fire!        10
 
His foe is fire, fire, fire!
On he rushes as in gold,
Under him a chariot rolled,
As in Roman triumph old,
But his foe is fire, fire!        15
 
His foe is fire, fire, fire!
Red the vault above him reels,
Now the blistering stairway peels
But the battle-bliss he feels,
For his foe is fire, fire!        20
 
His foe is fire, fire, fire!
Up the ladder flies he light,
Disappears in dreadful night,
Now re-starts upon the sight,
Sudden out of fire, fire!        25
 
His foe is fire, fire, fire!
And no word the hero saith,
Only on his arm hath breath
Something between life and death,
Snatched from fire, fire, fire!        30
 
His foe is fire, fire, fire!
Bring him to the victor’s car,
Richer is his spoil of war,
Than from Roman battle far,
Who has triumphed over fire.        35
 
 
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