Henry Austin Dobson

(18 January 1840 – 2 September 1921 / Plymouth)

Before Sedan


Here is this leafy place
Quiet he lies,
Cold, with his sightless face
Turn'd to the skies:
'Tis but another dead:
All you can say is said.

Carry his body hence !
Kings must have slaves:
Kings climb to eminence
Over men's graves:
So this man's eye is dim; ---
Throw the earth over him !

What was the white you touch'd,
There, at his side?
Paper his hand had clutch'd
Tight ere he died:
Message or wish, may be:
Smooth the folds out and see !

Hardly the worst of us
Here could have smiled !
Only the tremulous
Words of a child:
Prattle that has for stops
Just a few ruddy drops.

Look ! --- 'She is sad to miss,
Morning and night,
His ( her dead father's ) kiss;
Tries to be bright,
Good to Mamma, and sweet: '
(That is all ) --- 'Marguerite.'

Ah ! If beside the dead
Slumber'd the pain;
Ah ! If the hearts that bled
Slept with the slain;
If the grief died: --- but no !
Death will not have it so.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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