Marching Men: War Verses/Marching Men

For works with similar titles, see Marching Men.

MARCHING MEN.

FLARING bugle, throbbing drum,
Onward, onward hear them come,
Like a tide along the street
Swells the sound of martial feet;
On the breeze their colors streaming,
In the sun their rifles gleaming,
Pride of country, pride of race,
Glowing in each ruddy face—
Marching men, marching men,
Leaping pulses keep you pace.

Measured, rhythmic, thousands strong,
Sounds their tread the whole night long,
Beating over heart and brain,
Over hopes that bloomed in vain,
Like the roll of distant thunder,
That would tear a world asunder,
All the nation's hope and pride
Surging in the tireless tide—
Marching men, marching men,
Love goes praying by your side.

Deep the pathways they have worn
Over women's hearts forlorn,

Over lives grown thin and failing,
Where the stars of hope are paling;
Children's arms they must unbind,
Love and laughter leave behind,
Turn them from the beckoning morrow,
And the praying hands of sorrow,
Turn them to a place of dread
Where the skies burn darkly red,—
Marching men, marching men,
Grief shall follow in your tread.

From the silver coasts outlying,
Where the pallid ships are plying,
Sweeping in from East and West,
Over crag and mountain crest,
Up from desert, grove and glen,
Still there come those hosts of men;
In their hands the sword aflame,
On their lips an ancient name,
Cleaving hearts and lives asunder,
Trampling thrones and empires under;
Temples lately love-forsaken
They have entered and retaken,
Earth itself their tread has shaken—
Marching men, marching men,
Sleeping gods your shouts awaken!