The Sentries (1)

The watches of the day and night
Are kept by those who still preserve
The vigilance required of us
To brace; to steel ourselves, and hold our nerve —

The peril we will need to fight
We must be warned of in advance –
Ignoring the superfluous
We face: we must maintain a ready stance —

For out there, on the prairie gold,
The windswept fields lie silent still:
Just waiting for us to grow old
And stop —

                          and lose the strength to live
                          the will —

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