Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Armies in the Fire


The lamps now glitter down the street;
Faintly sound the falling feet;
And the blue even slowly falls
About the garden trees and walls.

Now in the falling of the gloom
The red fire paints the empty room:
And warmly on the roof it looks,
And flickers on the back of books.

Armies march by tower and spire
Of cities blazing, in the fire;--
Till as I gaze with staring eyes,
The armies fall, the lustre dies.

Then once again the glow returns;
Again the phantom city burns;
And down the red-hot valley, lo!
The phantom armies marching go!

Blinking embers, tell me true
Where are those armies marching to,
And what the burning city is
That crumbles in your furnaces!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Rookie Emily Spence (1/14/2006 4:08:00 PM)

    I love the metaphors RLS uses and I love the way he writes poems and stories. I think he's really noticed how fires work and the thoughts you can have when staring at the flames. We love poemhunter and we look at a poem every day. (Report) Reply

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