An illustration for the story Wake Not For The World-Heard Thunder by the author A. E. Housman
Cheshire Regiment trench on the Somme, 1916
Wake not for the world-heard thunder,
Nor the chimes that earthquakes toll;
Stars may plot in heaven with planet,
Lightning rive the rock of granite,
Tempest tread the oakwood under,
Fear not you for flesh or soul;
Marching, fighting, victory past,
Stretch your limbs in peace at last.
Stir not for the soldier’s drilling,
Nor the fever nothing cures;
Throb of drum and timbal’s rattle
Call but men alive to battle,
And the fife with death-notes filling
Screams for blood–but not for yours.
Times enough you bled your best;
Sleep on now, and take your rest.
Sleep, my lad; the French have landed,
London’s burning, Windsor’s down.
Clasp your cloak of earth about you;
We must man the ditch without you,
March unled and fight short-handed,
Charge to fall and swim to drown.
Duty, friendship, bravery o’er,
Sleep away, lad; wake no more.