Home  »  A Treasury of War Poetry  »  “How Steep the Brave!”

George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953). A Treasury of War Poetry. 1917.

Walter de la Mare

“How Steep the Brave!”

NAY, nay, sweet England, do not grieve!

Not one of these poor men who died

But did within his soul believe

That death for thee was glorified.

Ever they watched it hovering near

That mystery ’yond thought to plumb,

Perchance sometimes in loathèd fear

They heard cold Danger whisper, Come!—

Heard and obeyed. O, if thou weep

Such courage and honour, beauty, care,

Be it for joy that those who sleep

Only thy joy could share.