“On Guard” by Alexander Robertson
From Last Poems of Alexander Robertson, 1918
Midnight, 30th September, 1915
Hurdcott Camp, Salisbury
Look, ’tis a falling star: someone dead.
Know you not who it is? Short-lived Summer.
“Well may it be your last,” Weakness said.
“Welcome the Winter,” Strength, “the grey new-comer.”
“You may die ere he dies.” “Well, what then?
You must despise the twain, behind him cowered,—
Death and Agony wild: and die as men
Die in a holy cause, with peace dowered.”