Dyneley Hussey

Ode To A Young Man

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Can it be true that thou art dead
In the hour of thy youth, in the day of thy strength?
Must I believe thy soul has fled
Through heaven's length?
A scholar wast thou, learn'd in lore;
Poet was written in thine eyes.
Thou ne'er wast meant for bloody war
To seize in prize.
Yet when they asked thee, "Lo! what dost thou bring?"
Thou gav'st thyself,
Thou gav'st thy body, gav'st thy soul;
Thou gav'st thyself, one consecrated whole
To sacrificial torture for thy King.
O lovely youth, slaughtered at manhood's dawn,
In virgin purity thou liest dead,
And slaughtered were thy sons unborn,
With thee unwed.
Sleep on, pure youth, sleep at Earth's soothing breast,
No king's sarcophagus was e'er so fine
As that poor shallow soldier's grave of thine,
Where all ungarlanded thou tak'st thy rest.

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Dyneley Hussey