Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

THE MARCHING MORROWS


 

NOW gird thee well for courage,
My knight of twenty year,
Against the marching morrows
That fill the world with fear!

The flowers fade before them;

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The summer leaves the hill;
Their trumpets range the morning,
And those who hear grow still.

Like pillagers of harvest,
Their fame is far abroad,

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As gray remorseless troopers
That plunder and maraud.

The dust is on their corselets;
Their marching fills the world;
With conquest after conquest

15

Their banners are unfurled.

They overthrow the battles
Of every lord of war,
From world-dominioned cities
Wipe out the names they bore.

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Sohrab, Rameses, Roland,
Ramoth, Napoleon, Tyre,
And the Romeward Huns of Attila—
Alas, for their desire!

By April and by autumn

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They perish in their pride,
And still they close and gather
Out of the mountain-side.

The tanned and tameless children
Of the wild elder earth,

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With stature of the northlights,
They have the stars for girth.

There's not a hand to stay them,
Of all the hearts that brave;
No captain to undo them,

35

No cunning to off-stave.

Yet fear thou not! If haply
Thou be the kingly one,
They'll set thee in their vanguard
To lead them round the sun.

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