Alfred Edward Housman
Epitaph on Army of Mercenaries (1914)
These, in the days when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and the earth's foundations stay;
When God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.
During the First World War, Housman published several poems about the conflict including Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries (1914), written after the First Battle of Ypres.
He is best known for his work, A Shropshire Lad, which he published at his own expense in 1896.