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Henry Lawson (Генри Лоусон)

Fall in, My Men, Fall in

The short hour’s halt is ended, 
The red gone from the west, 
The broken wheel is mended, 
And the dead men laid to rest. 
Three days have we retreated 
The brave old Curse-and-Grin – 
Outnumbered and defeated – 
Fall in, my men, fall in. 

Poor weary, hungry sinners, 
Past caring and past fear, 
The camp-fires of the winners 
Are gleaming in the rear. 
Each day their front advances, 
Each day the same old din, 
But freedom holds the chances – 
Fall in, my men, fall in. 

Despair’s cold fingers searches 
The sky is black ahead, 
We leave in barns and churches 
Our wounded and our dead. 
Through cold and rain and darkness 
And mire that clogs like sin, 
In failure in its starkness – 
Fall in, my men, fall in. 

We go and know not whither, 
Nor see the tracks we go – 
A horseman gaunt shall tell us, 
A rain-veiled light shall show. 
By wood and swamp and mountain, 
The long dark hours begin – 
Before our fresh wounds stiffen – 
Fall in, my men, fall in. 

With old wounds dully aching – 
Fall in, my men, fall in – 
See yonder starlight breaking 
Through rifts where storm clouds thin! 
See yonder clear sky arching 
The distant range upon? 
I’ll plan while we are marching – 
Move on, my men - march on!

Henry Lawson's other poems:
  1. Jack Dunn of Nevertire
  2. The Heart of Australia
  3. The Bush Girl
  4. The Song of Old Joe Swallow
  5. Mount Bukaroo

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