The Old Huntsman: And Other Poems

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Dutton, 1918 - 109 psl.

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35 psl. - We're none of us the same!' the boys reply. 'For George lost both his legs; and Bill's stone blind; Poor Jim's shot through the lungs and like to die; And Bert's gone syphilitic: you'll not find A chap who's served that hasn't found some change.
31 psl. - The House is crammed : tier beyond tier they grin And cackle at the Show, while prancing ranks Of harlots shrill the chorus, drunk with din ; " We're sure the Kaiser loves the dear old Tanks ! " I'd like to see a Tank come down the stalls, Lurching to rag-time tunes, or " Home, sweet Home ! "— And there'd be no more jokes in Music-halls To mock the riddled corpses round Bapaume.
95 psl. - ... to darkness; and forgot The opiate throb and ache that was his wound. Water - calm, sliding green above the weir; Water - a sky-lit alley for his boat, Bird-voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers And shaken hues of summer: drifting down, He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept. Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward, Blowing the curtain to a glimmering curve. Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud; Queer blots of colour,...
53 psl. - Stare up at caverned darkness winking white. You in the bomb-scorched kilt, poor sprawling Jock, You tottered here and fell, and stumbled on, Half dazed for want of sleep. No dream could mock Your reeling brain with comforts lost and gone. You did not feel her arms about your knees, Her blind caress, her lips upon your head: Too tired for thoughts of home and love and ease, The road would serve you well enough for bed.
35 psl. - When the boys come back They will not be the same ; for they'll have fought In a just cause : they lead the last attack On Anti-Christ ; their comrades' blood has bought New right to breed an honourable race. They have challenged Death and dared him face to face.
101 psl. - Ah! but there was no need to call his name. He was beside me now, as swift as light. I knew him crushed to earth in scentless flowers, And lifted in the rapture of dark pines. "For now," he said, "my spirit has more eyes "Than heaven has stars; and they are lit by love. My body is the magic of the world, And dawn and sunset flame with my spilt blood.
95 psl. - But someone was beside him; soon he lay Shuddering because that evil thing had passed. And Death, who'd stepped toward him, paused and stared. Light many lamps and gather round his bed. Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live. Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet. He's young; he hated war; how should he die When cruel old campaigners win safe through? But Death replied: 'I choose him.
16 psl. - France SHE triumphs, in the vivid green Where sun and quivering foliage meet; And in each soldier's heart serene; When death stood near them they have seen The radiant forests where her feet Move on a breeze of silver sheen. And they are fortunate, who fight For gleaming landscapes swept and shafted And crowned by cloud pavilions white; Hearing such harmonies as might Only from Heaven be downward wafted — Voices of victory and delight.
22 psl. - Darkness: the rain sluiced down; the mire was deep; It was past twelve on a mid-winter night, When peaceful folk in beds lay snug asleep: There, with much work to do before the light, We lugged our clay-sucked boots as best we might Along the trench; sometimes a bullet sang, And droning shells burst with a hollow bang; We were soaked, chilled and wretched, every one. Darkness: the distant wink of a huge gun. I turned in the black ditch, loathing the storm; A rocket fizzed and burned with blanching...

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