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SOLDIERS are citizens of death’s grey land,
      Drawing no dividend from time’s to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
      Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
      Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
      They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
      And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
      And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
      And going to the office in the train.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).