Before Action

Original Text: 
Verse and Prose in Peace and War (London: Smith, Elder, 1916).
1By all the glories of the day,
2And the cool evening's benison:
3By the last sunset touch that lay
4Upon the hills when day was done:
5By beauty lavishly outpoured,
6And blessings carelessly received,
7By all the days that I have lived,
8Make me a soldier, Lord.
9By all of all men's hopes and fears,
10And all the wonders poets sing,
11The laughter of unclouded years,
12And every sad and lovely thing:
13By the romantic ages stored
14With high endeavour that was his,
15By all his mad catastrophes,
16Make me a man, O Lord.
17I, that on my familiar hill
18Saw with uncomprehending eyes
19A hundred of Thy sunsets spill
20Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice,
21Ere the sun swings his noonday sword
22Must say good-bye to all of this: --
23By all delights that I shall miss,
24Help me to die, O Lord.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: