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The Song of the Ungirt Runners
Charles Hamilton Sorley

We swing ungirded hips,
And lightened are our eyes,
The rain is on our lips,
We do not run for prize.
We know not whom we trust
Nor whitherward we fare,
But we run because we must
Through the great wide air.
The waters of the seas
Are troubled as by storm.
The tempest strips the trees
And does not leave them warm.
Does the tearing tempest pause?
Do the tree-tops ask it why?
So we run without a cause
'Neath the big bare sky.
The rain is on our lips,
We do not run for prize.
But the storm the water whips
And the wave howls to the skies.
The winds arise and strike it
And scatter it like sand,
And we run because we like it
Through the broad bright land.

This poem is in the public domain.


Charles Hamilton Sorley (1895-1915) was a Scottish poet who spent most of his short life in England. Handsome, bright, and athletic, his father was a philospher and his mother homeschooled Charles and his sister and twin brother. A cross-country runner in college, Charles particularly enjoyed running in the rain, a passion he references in several of his poems. This promising young poet’s career was cut tragically short when he was killed by a sniper during World War I; only twenty years old, his body was never found. A collection of all the poems Charles had written, fewer than forty, was published the year after his death and sold out six printings.

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the rain is refreshing through the beat
Posted 09/02/2011 05:45 AM

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