That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the judgement day
And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the mounds,
The glebe cow drooled. Till God called, "No;
It's gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:
"All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do more for Christés sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.
"That this is not the judgment hour
For some of them's a blessed thing,
For if it were they'd have to scour
Hells floor for so much threatening...
"Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need)."
So down we lay again. "I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,"
Said one, "than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!"
And many a skeleton shook his head.
"Instead of preaching forty year,"
My neighbor Oarson Thirdly said,
"I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer."
Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.
Thomas Hardy's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Channel Firing by Thomas Hardy )
Did you read them?
- Returning from the Broken Mirror Myth, Gabriel Sumon
- Tour Of Life, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- ZZ Animals Flunk These 2014 Candidates, Saiom Shriver
- my pool days, lee fones
- Enough is enough, Pat Raia
- A list of the most stupid things said to.., Mae AC.
- Cherry on Top Sundries Shoppe, Steve Kittell
- Contemporary-time Indian English Poets A.., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Importance of compassion, gajanan mishra
- A Flower Which Dreams, Rohit Sapra
Poem of the Day
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Eldorado, Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edna St. Vincent Millay
(22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Heather Burns
Ernest Christopher Dowson
(2 August 1867 – 23 February 1900)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)