Fifes and Drums/The Recruit

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THE RECRUIT

Give me to die when life is high:
    The sudden thrust the quick release,
lull in the front, in harness, not
    A slow decay in timorous peace.

There is not any way but this!
    I would not shirk the joy of strife,
Nor lose one flash of perfect death
    For sluggard years of coward life.

My breath, which is God's gift to me,
    Exulting waits His high behest;
My heart, which moves at His command,
    At His command will gladly rest.

For who would tarry when He calls,
    To haggle at the heavy toll,
And render to ungrudging God
    The insult of a niggard soul?

Reginald Wright Kaufman.