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64441: 'The Assault Heroic'

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posted on 2024-04-05, 13:41 authored by First World War Poetry Digital Archive Project Team

Down in the mud I lay,
Tired out by my long day
Of five damned days and nights,
Five sleepless days and nights,...
Dream snatched, and set me where
The dungeon of Despair
Looms over Desolate Sea,
Frowning and threatening me
With aspect high and steep---
A most malignant keep.
My foes that lay within
Shouted and made a din,
Hooted and grinned and cried:
'To-day we've killed your pride;
To-day your ardour ends.
We've murdered all your friends;
We've undermined by stealth
Your happiness and your health.
We've taken away your hope;
Now you may droop and mope
To misery and to death.'
But with my spear of faith,
Stout as an oaken rafter,
With my round shield of laughter,
With my sharp, tongue-like sword
That speaks a bitter word,
I stood beneath the wall
And there defied them all.
The stones they cast I caught
And alchemized with thought
Into such lumps of gold
As dreaming misers hold.
The boiling oil they threw
Fell in a shower of dew,
Refreshing me; the spears
Flew harmless by my ears,
Struck quivering in the sod;
There, like the prophet's rod,
Put leaves out, took firm root,
And bore me instant fruit.
My foes were all astounded,
Dumbstricken and confounded,
Gaping in a long row;
They dared not thrust nor throw.
Thus, then, I climbed a steep
Buttress and won the keep,
And laughed and proudly blew
My horn, 'Stand to! Stand to!
Wake up, sir! Here's a new
Attack! Stand to! Stand to!'

History

Identifier

3396.txt

Creator

Graves, Robert (1895-1985)

Date

(1995, 1997, 1999)

Date Created

01/01/1997

Temporal Date

31/12/1999

Type

Poem

Rights

The Robert Graves Copyright Trust / Published in Graves, R. (1999) Complete Poems: Volumes 1 - 3. Eds. B. Graves and D. Ward. London: Penguin Books.

Repository Name

ProQuest

Publisher

The First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Usage metrics

    The Robert Graves Collection

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