To you who'd read my songs of War
And only hear of blood and fame,
I'll say (you've heard it said before)
'War's Hell! ' and if you doubt the same,
Call it a good marriage -
For no one ever questioned
Her warmth, his masculinity,
Their interlocking views;
I’ve watched the Seasons passing slow, so slow,
In the fields between La Bassée and Bethune;
Primroses and the first warm day of Spring,
Red poppy floods of June,
Down, wanton, down! Have you no shame
That at the whisper of Love's name,
Or Beauty's, presto! up you raise
Your angry head and stand at gaze?
Through long nursery nights he stood
By my bed unwearying,
Loomed gigantic, formless, queer,
Purring in my haunted ear
Mother: Alice, dear, what ails you,
Dazed and white and shaken?
Has the chill night numbed you?
Is it fright you have taken?
Cherries of the night are riper
Than the cherries pluckt at noon
Gather to your fairy piper
When he pipes his magic tune:
He is quick, thinking in clear images;
I am slow, thinking in broken images.
He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images;
The difference between you and her
(whom I to you did once prefer)
Is clear enough to settle:
She like a diamond shone, but you