in: Character, Manly Lessons

• Last updated: June 3, 2021

Manvotional: Reveille

Reveille Bugler playing the trumpet illustration.

I think we all have gone trough periods of our lives where we feel like we’re stuck in neutral.  Sometimes too much stress and pressure or just too much laziness can push us into a rut that seems impossible to get out of. The hardest part of getting out of a rut for me is taking that first step. Every part of myself will resist it. It just takes some good old fashioned self-will to get past the initial resistance. It also helps to get some motivation from an outside source. AoM reader David Wells suggested a fantastic poem by A.E. Housman that’s the perfect motivator when you feel like you’re in a rut. It’s called “Reveille,” and it’s about an unnamed lad whose being roused to action. My favorite line is the last: Up, lad: when the journey’s over there’ll be time enough to sleep.

Damn straight.

Enjoy the poem.

Reveille by A.E Houseman

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.

Do you have suggestions for a future Manvotional? Email me your ideas for poems or essays that we can use.

Related Posts