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Full Online Book HomePoemsThe Things That Make A Soldier Great
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The Things That Make A Soldier Great Post by :BEEMAN Category :Poems Author :Edgar A. Guest Date :October 2011 Read :2010

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The Things That Make A Soldier Great

The things that make a soldier great and send
him out to die,
To face the flaming cannon's mouth nor ever
question why,
Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips
The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,
The grass plot where his children play, the roses
on the wall:
'Tis these that make a soldier great. He's fighting
for them all.

'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make
a soldier brave;
'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may
For soldiers never fight so well on land or on
the foam
As when behind the cause they see the little
place called home.
Endanger but that humble street whereon his
children run,
You make a soldier of the man who never bore
a gun.

What is it through the battle smoke the valiant
solider sees?
The little garden far away, the budding apple
The little patch of ground back there, the children
at their play,
Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church
of gray.
The golden thread of courage isn't linked to
castle dome
But to the spot, where'er it be--the humblest spot
called home.

And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely
And homesick soldiers far away know spring
is in the air;
The tulips come to bloom again, the grass
once more is green,
And every man can see the spot where all his
joys have been.
He sees his children smile at him, he hears the
bugle call,
And only death can stop him now--he's fighting
for them all.

(The end)
Edgar A. Guest's poem: Things That Make A Soldier Great

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