A Highland Regiment/Oxford from the Trenches

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For other versions of this work, see Oxford from the Trenches.


THE clouds are in the sky, and a light rain falling,
And through the sodden trench splashed figures come and go,
But deep in my heart are the old years calling.
And memory is on me of the things I used to know.

Memory is on me of the warm dim chambers.
And the laughter of my friends in the huge high-ceilinged hall,
Lectures and the voices of the dons deep-droning,
The things that were so common once—God, I feel them all.

Here there are the great things, life and death and danger,
All I ever dreamed of in the days that used to be.
Comrades and good-fellowship, the soul of an army.
But, oh, it is the little things that take the heart of me.

For all we knew of old, for little things and lovely.
We bow us to a greater life beyond our hope or fear.
To bear its heavy burdens, endure its toils unheeding.
Because of all the little things so distant and so dear.

Bécourt, 1915