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.

What do you think this poem is about?



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 »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Feliciano, Edward Kofi Louis
  2. Peccary - Lincoln Park Zoo, Ima Ryma
  3. > You <, Aparna Chatterjee
  4. The Seasons, Sandra Feldman
  5. The moon, gajanan mishra
  6. Jenin, Nathalie Handal
  7. Even, Nathalie Handal
  8. Haiku A Child's Eyes, Kwai Chee Low
  9. The Hawk Quartet, Nathalie Handal
  10. Do I?, Aparna Chatterjee

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. Sonnet I, Sir John Suckling
  7. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  8. bra maidenform, rwetewrt erwtwer
  9. Being With You, Heather Burns
  10. Dreams, Langston Hughes

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]