Richard Francis Burton

Here you will find the Poem The Forefather of poet Richard Francis Burton

The Forefather

HERE at the country inn, 
 I lie in my quiet bed, 
And the ardent onrush of armies 
 Throbs and throbs in my head. 
Why, in this calm, sweet place, 
 Where only silence is heard, 
Am I ware of the crash of conflict,? 
 Is my blood to battle stirred? 
Without, the night is blessed 
 With the smell of pines, with stars;
Within, is the mood of slumber, 
 The healing of daytime scars. 
?T is strange,?yet I am thrall 
 To epic agonies; 
The tumult of myriads dying 
 Is borne to me on the breeze. 
Mayhap in the long ago 
 My forefather grim and stark 
Stood in some hell of carnage, 
 Faced forward, fell in the dark;
And I, who have always known 
 Peace with her dove-like ways, 
Am gripped by his martial spirit 
 Here in the after days. 
I cannot rightly tell:
 I lie, from all stress apart, 
And the ardent onrush of armies 
 Surges hot through my heart.