30 September 2011

Thimble 67 - The Soldier's Kiss


The Soldier's Kiss

by War Poet Henry Chappell (1874 -1937)

Only a dying horse! Pull off the gear,
And slip the needless bit from frothing jaws,
Drag it aside there, leave the roadway clear
The battery thunders on with scarce a pause.

Prone by the shell-swept highway there it lies
With quivering limbs as fast the life tide fails,
Dark films are closing o'er the faithful eyes
That mutely plead for aid where none avails.

Onward the battery roll, but one there speeds
Heedless of comrade's voice or bursting shell,
Back to the wounded friend who lonely bleeds
Beside the stony highway where it fell.

Only a dying horse! He swiftly kneels,
Lifts the limp head and hears the shivering sigh
Kisses his friend. While down his cheek there steals
Sweet pity's tear; ‘Goodbye Old Man, Goodbye'

No honours wait him, Medal, Badge or Star,
Though scarce could war a kindlier deed unfold;
He bears within his breast, more precious far
Beyond the gift of Kings, a heart of gold.



  1. Such an emotional poem, made me think of all my horses over the rainbow bridge ♥

  2. I dedicated this past Memorial Day blog to all the animals lost to war with the beautiful song Only Remembered They Had No Choice

  3. Gemel
    It is a very nmoving poem, isn't it? Have you seen the painting that is often used with it? It's under copyright, so I couldn't post it here. A soldier cradling his horse. Just whacks you right in the heart.

    Thanks for the link. Oh that song... it just kills me when I listen to it!

    War horses have to be one of the most heart-breaking parts of our war history. :-(


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Can one everyday person really make a difference and change the world? Isn't that a bit like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble?

Maybe... but what if you got everyone to help you?
What if we bailed with a billion thimbles?

These are my Thimblefuls for Peace... I hope they make you think.