Cicely Fox Smith
Fulfilment - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
The last grim fight was over, the last red trench was won
About the taken and re-taken hill,
And far beyond the dead-strewn slopes the battle's noise rolled on,
Far on . . . and left the soldier lying still.
He knew no more the din, the reek, the darkness and the slime,
The strangling poison-cloud that hid the sky;
He heard no more the devil's forge beat out its fateful chime,
And shells like birds of slaughter screaming by.
He walked, a whole and care-free boy, in fields he loved of old -
He breathed again the jolly breeze of morn . . .
He heard the pigeons clap their wings above the old grey fold
In the country far away where he was born.
He saw the blossom lie like foam on every hedge and tree,
And the sunlight breaking golden through the cloud;
He heard a hundred streams run down rejoicing to the sea,
And all the birds of Spring-time singing loud.
He saw, in bright battalions ranged, the embattled hosts of God,
Stand rank on rank high up the rifted skies . . .
And souls set free that sprang and soared above the blood-stained sod,
His comrades with the splendour in their eyes.
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