Treasure Island

William F Dougherty

(West Hartford, CT)

A Roman Sentry's Friday Duty


A soldier's curse is not the copper pay,
stationed here in this gods-forsaken place!
I'd bribe a centurion to leave today.

Anywhere! —lug my shield on the Appian Way
or guard the quarry slaves in rocky Thrace.
A soldier's curse is not the copper pay.

The land is weary, fit for thorns and clay.
The towns are crowded with a bearded race.
I'd bribe a centurion to leave today.

This hill is bald as a skull, cold and gray,
—and I left my woolen tunic back at base!
A soldier's curse is not the copper pay.

Sentry for rebels crucified today—
last year in Rome I won a chariot-race!
I'd bribe a centurion to leave today.

This one I know: I heard the governor say
'Ecce homo! ' (I don't forget a face.)
A soldier's curse is not the copper pay.
I'd bribe a centurion to leave today.

Submitted: Thursday, February 14, 2008
Edited: Friday, March 08, 2013

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Young soldier at Golgotha.

Comments about this poem (A Roman Sentry's Friday Duty by William F Dougherty )

Enter the verification code :

  • Robert Howard (5/16/2012 9:17:00 AM)

    My favorite Villanelle of all time! I can see the soldier pacing angrily stuck with boring duty out in the sticks. (Report) Reply

  • Sandra Fowler (4/13/2008 9:17:00 PM)

    This is indeed a villanelle worthy of the name. You have my admiration for a very fine penning.

    Warm regards,

    Sandra (Report) Reply

  • Alison Cassidy (2/14/2008 4:48:00 PM)

    It takes great skill to write a villanelle and you have done so admirably in this excellent poem. This form and content are superb. 'A soldier's worst is not the copper pay' - so simple and so worthy of repetition as is 'I'd bribe a Centurian to leave today' History and humanity woven with great skill into a fine poetic fabric. love, Allie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (Report) Reply

  • Scarlett Treat (2/14/2008 2:14:00 PM)

    This is, just flat out, a wonderful poem, full, not of the brave valor of a warrior, but the mundane, day-to-day life of soldiering! I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. No Use Sighin', Edgar Albert Guest
  2. The Way It Sometimes Is, Henry Splawn Taylor
  3. The Furnace Door, Edgar Albert Guest
  4. When Mother Made An Angel Cake, Edgar Albert Guest
  5. Sunday In Liguria, Radclyffe Hall
  6. Money, Edgar Albert Guest
  7. Ironic Love, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  8. The Man I'm For, Edgar Albert Guest
  9. Independence Day, Edgar Albert Guest
  10. A Crosstown Breeze, Henry Splawn Taylor

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read,
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]