Home  »  A Shropshire Lad  »  LVI. Far I hear the bugle blow

A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad. 1896.

LVI. Far I hear the bugle blow

The Day of Battle

‘FAR I hear the bugle blow

To call me where I would not go,

And the guns begin the song,

“Soldier, fly or stay for long.”

‘Comrade, if to turn and fly

Made a soldier never die,

Fly I would, for who would not?

’Tis sure no pleasure to be shot.

‘But since the man that runs away

Lives to die another day,

And cowards’ funerals, when they come,

Are not wept so well at home,

‘Therefore, though the best is bad,

Stand and do the best, my lad;

Stand and fight and see your slain,

And take the bullet in your brain.’