The Militia

by John Dryden

John Dryden

The country rings around with loud alarms,
And raw in fields the rude militia swarms;
Mouths without hands; maintained at vast expense,
In peace a charge, in war a weak defence:
Stout once a month they march a blust'ring band,
And ever, but in times of need, at hand.
This was the morn when issuing on the guard,
Drawn up in rank and file they stood prepared
Of seeming arms to make a short essay,
Then hasten to be drunk, the business of the day.

Last updated September 17, 2022