Ivor Gurney

(1890-1937 / England)

New Year's Eve - Poem by Ivor Gurney

Aveluy and New Year's eve, and the time as tender
As if green buds grew. In the low West a slender
Streak of last orange. Guns mostly deadest still.
And a noise of limbers near, coming down the hill.
Nothing doing, nothing doing, and a screed to write,
Candles enough for books, a sleepy delight
In the warm dugout, day ended. Nine hours to the light.
There now and then now, one nestled down snug,
A head is enough to read by, and cover up with a rug.

Electric. Clarinet sang of a Hundred Pipers
(And hush-awe mystery vanishes like tapers
Of tobacco smoke,) there was a great hilarity then!
Breath and a queer tube magicked sorrow from men.
Here was no soul's cheat, friends were of love over there
How past thought, returning sweet! yet the soldier must dare.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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