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HGWells_Illustrated London News_1913

To cool the fever in his heart,
a boy plays soldiers on his bed
with cavalries of tin and lead
in trenches of chenille held apart

by knobby knees. The war games start
at crack of dawn on pillowed head
to cool the fever in his heart,
a boy plays soldiers on his bed.

Now two and seventy, the major part
of life well spent, he still pits bolshy red
against the fascist hordes; his mortal dread
the cardiologist configures on a chart.

To cool the fever in his heart,
a boy plays soldiers on his bed
with cavalries of tin and lead
in trenches of chenille held apart.

~~~

© Elaine Stirling, 2014

The image that accompanies this rondeau quatrain is of H.G. Wells in 1913, demonstrating a move in the hobby war game he developed. The full article about the author’s “Little Wars”, intended to warn us against the real thing, can be read here.