Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

May 29, 2017

A Soldier’s Death

By David Reiss

portrait of Thomas Hardy by William Strang

Thomas Hardy by William Strang

To commemorate Memorial Day, a poem about the death of a soldier:

Drummer Hodge

by Thomas Hardy

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
Uncoffined — just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around:
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound.
Young Hodge the drummer never knew —
Fresh from his Wessex home —
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
Strange stars amid the gloam.
Yet portion of that unknown plain
Will Hodge for ever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
Grow up some Southern tree,
And strange-eyed constellations reign
His stars eternally.
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