First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Callow Captain


The sun beams jovial from an ancient sky, Flooding the round hills with heroic spate. A callow captain, glaring, sword at thigh, Trots out his charger through the camp gate. Soon comes the hour, his marriage hour, and soon He fathers children, reigns with ancestors Who, likewise serving in the wars, won For a much-tattered flag renewed honours.

A wind ruffles the book, and he whose name Was mine vanishes; all is at an end. Fortunate soldier: to be spared shame Of chapter-years unprofitable to spend, To ride off into reticence, nor throw Before the story-sun a long shadow.

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