"Corporal Greene!" the orderly cried:
"Here!" was the answer, loud and clear,
From the lips of a soldier standing near;
And "Here!" was the word the next replied.
"Cyrus Drew!" and a silence fell;
This time no answer followed the call;
Only his rear-man saw him fall,
Killed or wounded, he could not tell.
There they stood in the failing light,
These men of battle, with grave, dark looks,
As plain to be read as open books,
While slowly gathered the shades of night.
The fern on the slope was splashed with blood,
And down in the corn, where the poppies grew,
For the land or for the sea, Lasting evermore.
Love me little, love me long, Is the burden of my song.
Anonymous, originally printed in I569.