Sir Henry Newbolt

Here you will find the Poem A Letter From the Front of poet Sir Henry Newbolt

A Letter From the Front

I was out early to-day, spying about 
From the top of a haystack -- such a lovely morning -- 
And when I mounted again to canter back 
I saw across a field in the broad sunlight 
A young Gunner Subaltern, stalking along 
With a rook-rifle held at the read, and -- would you believe it? -- 
A domestic cat, soberly marching beside him. 

So I laughed, and felt quite well disposed to the youngster, 
And shouted out "the top of the morning" to him, 
And wished him "Good sport!" -- and then I remembered 
My rank, and his, and what I ought to be doing: 
And I rode nearer, and added, "I can only suppose 
You have not seen the Commander-in-Chief's order 
Forbidding English officers to annoy their Allies 
By hunting and shooting." 
But he stood and saluted 
And said earnestly, "I beg your pardon, Sir, 
I was only going out to shoot a sparrow 
To feed my cat with." 
So there was the whole picture, 
The lovely early morning, the occasional shell 
Screeching and scattering past us, the empty landscape, -- 
Empty, except for the young Gunner saluting, 
And the cat, anxiously watching his every movement. 

I may be wrong, or I may have told it badly, 
But it struck me as being extremely ludicrous.