Robert William Service
Poppies, you try to tell me, glowing there in the wheat;
Poppies! Ah no! You mock me: It's blood, I tell you, it's blood.
It's gleaming wet in the grasses; it's glist'ning warm in the wheat;
It dabbles the ferns and the clover; it brims in an angry flood;
It leaps to the startled heavens; it smothers the sun; it cries
With scarlet voices of triumph from blossom and bough and blade.
See the bright horror of it! It's roaring out of the skies,
And the whole red world is a-welter. . . . Oh God! I'm afraid! I'm afraid!
Cornflowers, you say, just cornflowers, gemming the golden grain;
Ah no! You can't deceive me. Can't I believe my eyes?
Look! It's the dead, my comrades, stark on the dreadful plain,
All in their dark-blue blouses, staring up at the skies.
Comrades of canteen laughter, dumb in the yellow wheat.
See how they sprawl and huddle! See how their brows are white!
Goaded on to the shambles, there in death and defeat. . . .
Father of Pity, hide them! Hasten, O God, Thy night!
Lillies (the light is waning), only lilies you say,
Nestling and softly shining there where the spear-grass waves.
No, my friend, I know better; brighter I see than day:
It's the poor little wooden crosses over their quiet graves.
Oh, how they're gleaming, gleaming! See! Each cross has a crown.
Yes, it's true I am dying; little will be the loss. . . .
Darkness . . . but look! In Heaven a light, and it's shining down. . . .
God's accolade! Lift me up, friends. I'm going to win -- my Cross.
Robert William Service's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Tri-Colour by Robert William Service )
- Twelve Birds of Christmas, Frank Avon
- Picasso: Pentads, Frank Avon
- Picasso, Frank Avon
- A Dream, Steve Kittell
- Waiting on my time, Gypsy Pain
- Mohabbat kaamil ho gayi, Ahatisham Alam
- Single Dad, louis rams
- A Victim of Love?, Mr. Nobody
- The Ugly Brother, Von Kimball Barney
- Khwaabon ki Haqikat, Ahatisham Alam
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Stafford's Cabin, Edwin Arlington Robinson
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- Heather Burns
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)