World War One Poetry – Day Twenty Six

First World War Centenary

On the 11th November 2018, we reach the centenary year of World War One.

100 years since the end of conflict.

“On the centenary of the Armistice we will give thanks for peace and for those that returned, and remember the sacrifice of the 800,000 soldiers who died”

Below is a copy of William Noel Hodgson’s, Before Action – This is the 26th World War One Poem I have published on my home-page in remembrance of our upcoming Centenary celebrations.

The poem Before Action by Lt Noel Hodgson, MC was first published on 29 June 1916 in the weekly paper The New Witness, two days before he went into action with the 9th Battalion the Devonshire Regiment on 1 July 1916.


 

Before Action

by Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson, MC

By all the glories of the day
And the cool evening’s benison
By that last sunset touch that lay
Upon the hills when day was done,
By beauty lavishly outpoured
And blessings carelessly received,
By all the days that I have lived
Make me a soldier, Lord.

By all of all man’s hopes and fears
And all the wonders poets sing,
The laughter of unclouded years,
And every sad and lovely thing;
By the romantic ages stored
With high endeavour that was his,
By all his mad catastrophes
Make me a man, O Lord.

I, that on my familiar hill
Saw with uncomprehending eyes
A hundred of thy sunsets spill
Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice,
Ere the sun swings his noonday sword
Must say good-bye to all of this; –
By all delights that I shall miss,
Help me to die, O Lord.

 

 

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