Vow To Mars

Store of courage to me grant,

Now I'm turn'd a combatant:

Helpe me so, that I my shield,

(Fighting) lose not in the field.

That's the greatest shame of all,

That in warfare can befall.

Do but this; and there shall be

Offer'd up a Wolfe to thee.

The Farewell. When soldiers leave for war, some of them also leave poems to loved ones. This one by Richard Lovelace, who fought the Spaniards in the seventeenth century, is typical:


Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind That from the nunnery Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind, To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase, The first foe in the field; And with a stronger faith embrace A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such As you too shall adore; I could not love thee, dear, so much, Loved I not honor more.

The Tribute. Tribute poems honor a leader or commander, as illustrated by this 1652 Milton lyric which pays tribute to Oliver Cromwell, who took over Parlimentary armies after Charles I was dethroned and executed:

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