Page:A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919.djvu/54

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SCOTLAND



PIPES IN ARRAS

(April, 1917)

 IN the burgh toun of Arras,
 When gloaming had come on,
Fifty pipers played Retreat
 As if they had been one,
And the Grande Place of Arras
 Hummed with the Highland drone!


Then to the ravaged burgh,
 Champed into dust and sand,
Came with the pipers' playing,
 Out of their own beloved land,
Sea-sounds that moan for sorrow
 On a dispeopled strand.


There are in France no voices
 To speak of simple things,
And tell how winds will whistle
 Through palaces of kings;
Now came the truth to Arras
 In the chanter's warblings:


"O build in pride your towers,
 But think not they will last;

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