Reveille: Inspire Action

IV. Reveille

by A. E. Housman (from ‘A Shropshire Lad’)

Wake: the silver dusk returning
Up the beach of darkness brims,
And the ship of sunrise burning
Strands upon the eastern rims.

Wake: the vaulted shadow shatters,
Trampled to the floor it spanned,
And the tent of night in tatters
Straws the sky-pavilioned land.

Up, lad, up, ‘tis late for lying:
Hear the drums of morning play;
Hark, the empty highways crying
‘Who’ll beyond the hills away?’

Towns and countries woo together,
Forelands beacon, belfries call;
Never lad that trod on leather
Lived to feast his heart with all.

Up, lad: thews that lie and cumber
Sunlit pallets never thrive;
Morns abed and daylight slumber
Were not meant for man alive.

Clay lies still, but blood’s a rover;
Breath’s a ware that will not keep.
Up, lad: when the journey’s over
There’ll be time enough to sleep.

I’d first discovered this poem from a post on a site called ‘The Art of Manliness’, which I’d highly recommend for both men and women. I found it at a time when I was feeling unmotivated and needed a boost.  The last stanza in particular always gets me moving.

Think about all the things you’d like to accomplish.  What’s stopping you?  What’s the first step you could take to get it moving forward?  That’s the most challenging part. What consequences do you think your action will have?  Will it cause you to lose weight? Get in better shape? Become more involved in your community?

I know one thing it will do: inspire others.  This is the impact we don’t see and we don’t think about.  Doing something to improve ourselves or help others inspires other people to act.  It may not be every one you know, but there will be someone who will act because of your move forward.  You are helping more than yourself become better.