Edmund Blunden (1 November 1896 – 20 January 1974 / London / England)
The Ancre at Hamel: Afterwards
Where tongues were loud and hearts were light
I heard the Ancre flow;
Waking oft at the mid of night
I heard the Ancre flow.
I heard it crying, that sad rill,
Below the painful ridge
By the burnt unraftered mill
And the relic of a bridge.
And could this sighing river seem
To call me far away,
And its pale word dismiss as dream
The voices of to-day?
The voices in the bright room chilled
And that mourned on alone;
The silence of the full moon filled
With that brook's troubling tone.
The struggling Ancre had no part
In these new hours of mine,
And yet its stream ran through my heart;
I heard it grieve and pine,
As if its rainy tortured blood
Had swirled into my own,
When by its battered bank I stood
And shared its wounded moan.
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