The Silent Battle

He was a soldier in that fight
  Where there is neither flag nor drum,
And without sound of musketry
  The stealthy foemen come.

Year in, year out, by day and night
  They forced him to a slow retreat,
And for his gallant fight alone
  No fife was blown, and no drum beat.

In winter fog, in gathering mist
  The gray grim battle had its end --
And at the very last we knew
  His enemy had turned his friend.