POETRY – Spring, When A Young Man’s Fancy Turns To . . . War

1 Comrades, leave me here a little, while as yet ’tis early morn:
2 Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle-horn.

3 ‘Tis the place, and all around it, as of old, the recruiter’s call,
4 Sharp eyes gleaming, sugary voice calls me from my study hall;

5 This high school, my years of study here, I am done with it.
6 Now a uniformed friend has a proposition for this graduate.

7 Many a night, after homework, I dreamed ere I went to rest,
8 Of his words extolling me to rise up and fight for the West.

9 Many a night I saw the Pleiades, cutting the sky like a brand,
10 Glittering like my dreams of the exotica of foreign lands.

11 Here about the campus I wander’d, nourishing a youth sublime
12 With the fairy tales of math and science, and the long result of Time;

13 I thought of the years before me like a fruitful land reposed;
14 When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed:

15 When I dipt into the future far as human eye could see;
16 Saw the Vision of the battlefield and where I would be.

17 In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast;
18 In the Spring a similar stain shall grace my broken chest;

19 It is Spring and the recruiter gestures me towards an open door;
20 It is Spring and a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of War.

Editor’s Note: Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem Locksley Hall (1842) was used as the basis for this adaptation.

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