The Great War

from A Calendar of Verse, an electronic edition

They Also Serve

Beyond the soaring thrill that lifts the heart

To martial music and to marching feet,

Beyond the thin call of the fife -- apart

From brave emotion, and the sudden heat

Of young enthusiasm, and the cheers

Of crowds which weep and rally at a word --

Beyond the Fire and the Wind and Tears

The still small voice of Sacrifice is heard!

The cripple in his chair who does his bit --

The bent old woman in her garden-plot --

By such small flames the holy Lamp is lit --

And who can say the Country needs them not?

Not for us all the right to rise and go

To unknown Terror over haunted seas --

Yet all shall reap as We-At-Home shall sow --

And thus we serve -- unto the least of these!