Here lies a clerk who half his life had spent
Toiling at ledgers in a city grey,
Thinking that so his days would drift away
With no lance broken in life’s tournament:
The starshells float above, the bayonets glisten;
We bear our fallen friend without a sound;
Below the waiting legions lie and listen
To us, who march upon their burial-ground.
UNDER the stars the armies lie asleep:
Between the lines a quiet river flows
Through brakes of honeysuckle, and of rose,
And fields where poppies droop in languor deep
The sea has a laugh
And the cliff a frown;
For the laugh of the sea is wearing him down.
Lipping and lapping
A ship sails up to Bideford;
Upon a western breeze,
Mast by mast, sail over sail,
She rises from the seas,
Hooded in angry mist, the sun goes down:
Steel-gray the clouds roll out across the sea:
Is this a Kingdom? Then give Death the crown,
For here no emperor hath won, save He.
O SILVER one, O silver one,
Above the valley of the Bane:
O stem with snow-water agleam,
And glistening limbs, and trails of pearl.
THE spire is gone, that slept for centuries,
Mirrored among the lilies, calm and low:
And now the water holds but empty skies,
Through which the rivers of the thunder flow.
UP and down, up and down
They go, the gray rat, and the brown.
The telegraph lines are tangled hair,
Motionless on the sullen air
Mourn not for these, the children of the spring :
On Flemish plains and far Aegean sand,
Mourn not for these, who had no perishing !
Hang high their swords in churches greatly spanned !