Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
Dirge for a Soldier
By George Henry Boker (1823–1890)
 
CLOSE his eyes; his work is done.
  What to him is friend or foeman,
Rise of moon or set of sun,
  Hand of man or kiss of woman?
 
      Lay him low, lay him low,        5
      In the clover or the snow!
      What cares he? He cannot know:
          Lay him low!
 
As man may, he fought his fight,
  Proved his truth by his endeavour:        10
Let him sleep in solemn night,
  Sleep for ever and for ever.
 
Fold him in his country’s stars,
  Roll the drum and fire the volley!
What to him are all our wars?        15
  What but death bemocking folly?
 
Leave him to God’s watching eye:
  Trust him to the hand that made him.
Mortal love weeps idly by:
  God alone has power to aid him.        20
 
      Lay him low, lay him low,
      In the clover or the snow!
      What cares he? He cannot know:
          Lay him low!
 
 
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