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The Militiaman
by [?]

“O warrior with the burnished arms–
With bullion cord and tassel–
Pray tell me of the lurid charms
Of service and the fierce alarms:
The storming of the castle,
The charge across the smoking field,
The rifles’ busy rattle–
What thoughts inspire the men who wield
The blade–their gallant souls how steeled
And fortified in battle.”

“Nay, man of peace, seek not to know
War’s baleful fascination–
The soldier’s hunger for the foe,
His dread of safety, joy to go
To court annihilation.
Though calling bugles blow not now,
Nor drums begin to beat yet,
One fear unmans me, I’ll allow,
And poisons all my pleasure: How
If I should get my feet wet!”