Page:Some soldier poets.djvu/62

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SOME SOLDIER POETS
"For God had wrestled with him, and was gone.
He looked around, and only God remained.
The dawn, the desert, he and God were one.
—And Esau came to meet him travel-stained.
So, there, when sunset made the downs look new
And earth gave up her colours to the sky,
And far away the little city grew
Half into sight, new-visioned was my eye.
I, who have lived, and trod her lovely earth,
Raced with her winds and listened to her birds,
Have cared but little for their worldly worth
Nor sought to put my passion into words.
But now it's different; and I have no rest
Because my hand must search, dissect and spell
The beauty that is better not expressed.
The thing that all can feel, but none can tell."


Words halt behind thought and feeling. After vision and inspiration have been aroused by experience, even the best poetry may seem lame. But Sorley was conscious of another reason why "Beauty is better not expressed." He knew that it would not be welcomed. He had reached that stage when the soul reacts against parents, masters and the world that has fostered it. He was a rebel, an unusually clear-eyed and affectionate rebel, who did not only feel that things were wrong, but could point them out with un unerring finger.


"O come and see, it's such a sight,
So many boys all doing right:
To see them underneath the yoke,
Blindfolded by the elder folk,
Move at a most impressive rate
Along the way that is called straight.
O, it is comforting to know
They're in the way they ought to go.

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