by Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936)

Epitaph on an army of mercenaries
Language: English 
These, in the day when heaven was falling,
  The hour when Earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
  And took their wages and are dead.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
  They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
  And saved the sum of things for pay.

First published in The Times, October 1917


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-08-18
Line count: 8
Word count: 50