Ivor Gurney

(1890-1937 / England)

Billet


O, but the racked clear tired strained frames we had!
Tumbling in the new billet on to straw bed,
Dead asleep in eye shutting. Waking as sudden
To a golden and azure roof, a golden ratcheted
Lovely web of blue seen and blue shut, and cobwebs and tiles,
And grey wood dusty with time. June’s girlish kindest smiles.
Rest at last and no danger for another week, a seven-day week.
But one Private took on himself a Company’s heart to speak,
“I wish to bloody hell I was just going to Brewer – surely
to work all day (in Stroud) and be free at tea-time – allowed
Resting when one wanted, and a joke in season,
To change clothes and take a girl to Horsepool’s turning,
Or drink a pint at ‘Travellers Rest’, and find no cloud.
Then God and man and war and Gloucestershire would have
a reason,
But I get no good in France, getting killed, cleaning off mud.
He spoke the heart of all of us – the hidden thought burning,
unturning.

Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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