Character of the Happy Warrior

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?

Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train!
Turns his necessity to glorious gain.

More skillful in self-knowledge, even more pure,
As tempted more; more able to endure,
As more exposed to suffering and distress.

But who, if he be called upon to face
Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined
Great issues, good or bad for human kind,
Is happy as a Lover.

And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law
In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw.

Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
Nor thought of tender happiness betray.

- Wordsworth (1806)