A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919
by George Herbert Clarke.
All rights reserved.
To all those
who have fought
"Now let us all for the Perssy praye
To Jhesu most of myght,
To bryng hys sowlle to the blysse of heven,
For he was a gentyll knyght."
"Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour's at the stake."
"Prepare, prepare the iron helm of war,
Bring forth the lots, cast in the spacious orb;
The Angel of Fate turns them with mighty hands,
And casts them out upon the darkened earth,
"Hark! now the drums beat up again,
For all true soldiers, gentlemen!"
—Corporal John Brown, Grenadier Guards, 1854
|Sir Henry Newbolt||The Vigil||43|
|John Galsworthy||England to Free Men||44|
|Charles William Brodribb||Expeditional||45|
|Lance-Corporal Francis Ledwidge||Evening in England||46|
|C. Fox Smith||Saint George of England||46|
|George Herbert Clarke||Lines Written in Surrey, 1917||47|
|John Freeman||Sweet England||48|
|Henry Lawson||England Yet||50|
|Lieutenant Leonard Van Noppen||"Burn up the World"||51|
|Lieutenant Leonard Van Noppen||England||52|
|Rudyard Kipling||"For all we have and are"||52|
|Neil Munro||Pipes in Arras||54|
|Neil Munro||"Lochaber no More"||56|
|Isabel Westcott Harper||Highland Night, 1715—1815—1915||56|
|Norreys Jephson O'Conor||Moira's Keening||58|
|Winifred M. Letts||The Connaught Rangers||59|
|Lieutenant T. M. Kettle||A Song of the Irish Armies||60|
|Marjorie L. C. Pickthall||Canada to England||62|
|Will H. Ogilvie||Canadians||66|
|Archibald T. Strong||Australia to England||67|
|C. Fox Smith||Farewell to Anzac||67|
|Will H. Ogilvie||Queenslanders||68|
|Ben Kendim||The New Zealander||69|
|Henry Lawson||Song of the Dardanelles||70|
|Henry Lawson||Fighting Hard||72|
|Laurence Binyon||To the Belgians||74|
|Lieutenant Herbert Asquith||A Flemish Village||76|
|Sir Owen Seaman||To Belgium in Exile||76|
|Gilbert Keith Chesterton||The Wife of Flanders||77|
|M. Forrest||The Heroes||78|
|Charlotte Holmes Crawford||Vive la France!||80|
|Herbert Jones||To France||82|
|Florence Earle Coates||Place de la Concorde||82|
|John Finley||The Valleys of the Blue Shrouds||84|
|Grace Ellery Channing||Flower-Beds in the Tuileries||86|
|Henry Van Dyke||The Name of France||87|
|Robert Bridges||To the United States of America||88|
|Vachel Lindsay||Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight||88|
|John Helston||"Advance, America!"||90|
|Morley Roberts||To America||90|
|O. W. Firkins||To America in War Time||91|
|Harry Kemp||The New Ally||92|
|Rudyard Kipling||The Choice||92|
|Helen Gray Cone||A Chant of Love for England||94|
|Lieutenant Charles Langbridge Morgan||To America||95|
|Maurice Hewlett||The Fourth of July, 1776||96|
|Laurence Binyon||The New World||96|
|Rowland Thirlmere||Jimmy Doane||98|
|Alfred Noyes||Princeton, May, 1917||100|
|Clinton Scollard||Italy in Arms||103|
|Moray Dalton||To Italy||105|
|George Edward Woodberry||On the Italian Front, MCMXVI||105|
|Lance-Corporal Francis Ledwidge||Autumn Evening in Serbia||106|
|Florence Earle Coates||Serbia||106|
|Lance-Corporal Francis Ledwidge||The Homecoming of the Sheep||107|
|George Edward Woodberry||Roumania||108|
|Stephen Phillips||The Kaiser and Belgium||109|
|Dana Burnet||The Battle of Liège||109|
|W. S. S. Lyon||Easter at Ypres, 1915||115|
|Margaret L. Woods||The First Battle of Ypres||116|
|George Herbert Clarke||Ruins||119|
|Laurence Binyon||Men of Verdun||120|
|Patrick R. Chalmers||Guns of Verdun||122|
|Winifred M. Letts||The Spires of Oxford||123|
|Laurence Binyon||Oxford in War-Time||124|
|Christopher Morley||To the Oxford Men in the War||125|
|W. Snow||The Ghosts of Oxford||127|
|Tertius van Dyke||Oxford revisited in War-Time||128|
|Lieutenant Alan Mackintosh||Oxford from the Trenches||130|
|Thomas Hardy||"Men who March away"||131|
|Thomas Hardy||In Time of "The Breaking of Nations"||132|
|Thomas Hardy||Then and Now||133|
|John Masefield||The Choice||133|
|Alfred Noyes||The Searchlights||134|
|John Galsworthy||The Soldier Speaks||136|
|Wilfrid Wilson Gibson||The Ragged Stone||137|
|Sir Henry Newbolt||The War Films||137|
|A. E.||Gods of War||138|
|A. E.||Shadows and Lights||140|
|George Edward Woodberry||Sonnets Written in the Autumn of 1914||142|
|John Drinkwater||We Willed it not||146|
|John Drinkwater||Of Greatham||147|
|Percy Mackaye||Christmas, 1915||148|
|Henry van Dyke||The Peaceful Warrior||148|
|Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Ronald Ross||The Death of Peace||149|
|Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Ronald Ross||Apocalypse||152|
|Walter de la Mare||The Fool Rings his Bells||155|
|Barry Pain||The Kaiser and God||157|
|Sir Arthur Conan Doyle||The Guns in Sussex||158|
|Kathleen Knox||A Lost Land||159|
|Olive Tilford Dargan||"It Will be a Hard Winter"||161|
|Patrick R. Chalmers||The Steeple||162|
|Mrs. C. T. Whitmell||Christ in Flanders||163|
|Edith Wharton||Battle Sleep||165|
|John Finley||The Road to Dieppe||165|
|W. Macneile Dixon||To Fellow Travellers in Greece||168|
|John Freeman||The Stars in their Courses||169|
|Dana Burnet||Napoleon's Tomb||172|
|Robert Grant||The Superman||173|
|H. H. Bashford||The Vision of Spring, 1916||174|
|Everard Owen||Three Hills||178|
|Everard Owen||Ypres Tower, Rye||178|
|Clinton Scollard||A Summer Morning||179|
|G. O. Warren||Fulfilment||180|
|Guy Kendall||To my Pupils, Gone before Their Day||181|
|Theodosia Garrison||"These Shall Prevail"||181|
|Stuart P. Sherman||Kaiser and Councillor||182|
|Odell Shepard||The Hidden Weaver||183|
|W. H. Draper||The Red Christmas||185|
|Sara Teasdale||"There Will Come Soft Rains"||186|
|Ethel M. Hewitt||Bois-Étoilé||187|
|Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley||Going to the Front||188|
|Robert W. Service||Faith||189|
|Robert W. Service||The Song of the Pacifist||189|
|Chaplain G. A. Studdert Kennedy||A Mother Understands||190|
|Bliss Carman||The War Cry of the Eagles||191|
|Robert W. Service||The Volunteer||194|
|Robert W. Service||Fleurette||195|
|John Freeman||The Return||198|
|Sir Henry Newbolt||The Toy Band||199|
|Sir Henry Newbolt||A Letter from the Front||200|
|Sir Owen Seaman||Thomas of the Light Heart||201|
|Maurice Hewlett||In the Trenches||202|
|Sir Arthur Conan Doyle||The Guards Came Through||203|
|William Dean Howells||The Passengers of a Retarded Submersible||205|
|Wilfrid Wilson Gibson||Retreat||206|
|John Ernest Adamson||Resurrection||207|
|F. W. Bourdillon||The Call||213|
|Lieutenant William Rose Benét||Front Line||214|
|Eden Phillpotts||In Gallipoli||215|
|John Gould Fletcher||The Last Rally||216|
|John Gould Fletcher||Channel Sunset||218|
|Rowland Thirlmere||Richmond Park||218|
|Patrick R. Chalmers||Infantry||219|
|Gilbert Keith Chesterton||The Ballad of St. Barbara||220|
|Maud Anna Bell||From a Trench||226|
|Herbert Kaufman||The Hell-Gate of Soissons||230|
|Grace Fallow Norton||The Mobilization in Brittany||236|
|Isabel Ecclestone Mackay||The Recruit||238|
|Maxwell Struthers Burt||Pierrot at War||239|
|Katharine Tynan||High Summer||240|
|Grace Hazard Conkling||Rheims Cathedral, 1914||240|
|Lieutenant T. M. Kettle||To My Daughter Betty, the Gift of God||241|
|Sergeant Leslie Coulson||The Rainbow||241|
|Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson ("Edward Melbourne")||Back to Rest||242|
|Sergeant Joyce Kilmer||Prayer of a Soldier in France||243|
|Chaplain G. A. Studdert Kennedy||Solomon in all his Glory||244|
|Chaplain G. A. Studdert Kennedy||War||244|
|Lieutenant Rupert Brooke||The Soldier||245|
|Lieutenant Rupert Brooke||Safety||245|
|Lieutenant Rupert Brooke||Peace||246|
|Alan Seeger||I Have a Rendezvous with Death||246|
|Alan Seeger||Champagne, 1914—15||247|
|Captain Julian Grenfell||Into Battle||250|
|Lance-Corporal Francis Ledwidge||The Place||251|
|Lance-Corporal Francis Ledwidge||Evening Clouds||252|
|Captain Lord Dunsany||Songs from an Evil Wood||252|
|Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley||Expectans Expectavi||255|
|Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley||"All the Hills and Vales Along"||256|
|Flight-Commander Jeffrey Day||To My Brother||257|
|Lieutenant Robert Ernest Vernède||A Petition||259|
|Sergeant Joyce Kilmer||The New School||259|
|Sergeant Joyce Kilmer||Kings||261|
|Lieutenant Robert Nichols||Comrades: An Episode||261|
|Lieutenant Robert Nichols||Fulfilment||264|
|Lieutenant Robert Nichols||The Day's March||265|
|Captain Siegfried Sassoon||The Troops||266|
|Captain Siegfried Sassoon||Trench Duty||267|
|Captain T. P. Cameron Wilson||Magpies in Picardy||267|
|Lieutenant Frederic Manning||The Face||269|
|Lieutenant Frederic Manning||The Sign||269|
|Lieutenant Frederic Manning||The Trenches||270|
|Lieutenant Frederic Manning||Transport||271|
|Captain James H. Knight-Adkin||No Man's Land||272|
|Captain James H. Knight-Adkin||"On Les Aura!"||273|
|Captain Robert Graves||The Last Post||274|
|Lieutenant Herbert Asquith||On a Troopship, 1915||274|
|Lieutenant Herbert Asquith||The Volunteer||275|
|Patrick MacGill||Before the Charge||275|
|Patrick MacGill||In the Morning||276|
|Lieutenant E. Wyndham Tennant||Home Thoughts from Laventie||277|
|Lieutenant E. Wyndham Tennant||Reincarnation||279|
|Lieutenant E. Wyndham Tennant||Light after Darkness||279|
|Captain Edward de Stein||To a Skylark behind Our Trenches||280|
|Lieutenant F. W. Harvey||The Bugler||281|
|Lieutenant E. Armine Wodehouse||Before Ginchy||281|
|Lieutenant E. Armine Wodehouse||Next Morning||284|
|Captain James Norman Hall||The Cricketers of Flanders||286|
|Captain James Norman Hall||A Finger and a Huge, Thick Thumb||287|
|Lieutenant Henry William Hutchinson||Sonnets||290|
|Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson ("Edward Melbourne")||God's Hills||291|
|Captain Gilbert Frankau||Headquarters||281|
|Captain Gilbert Frankau||Ammunition Column||294|
|Captain Gilbert Frankau||The Voice of the Guns||295|
|Bernard Freeman Trotter||A Kiss||297|
|Bernard Freeman Trotter||The Poplars||298|
|Captain William G. Shakespeare||The Cathedral||299|
|Lieutenant-Commander E. Hilton Young||Memories||300|
|W. S. S. Lyon||Lines Written in a Fire-Trench||300|
|Lieutenant Joseph Lee||Back to London: A Poem of Leave||301|
|Lieutenant Joseph Lee||German Prisoners||303|
|Private A. N. Field||The Challenge of the Guns||304|
|Lieutenant-Colonel W. Campbell Galbraith||Red Poppies in the Corn||304|
|Captain W. Kersley Holmes||Horse-Bathing Parade||305|
|Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson ("Edward Melbourne")||Before Action||306|
|Lieutenant Robert Haven Schauffler||After Action||306|
|Captain James Sprent||A Confession of Faith||307|
|Lieutenant Ronald Lewis Carton||Hereafter||307|
|Major Charles G. D. Roberts||Cambrai and Marne||310|
|Lieutenant Donald F. Goold Johnson||Battle Hymn||312|
|Sergeant Joyce Kilmer||The Peacemaker||312|
|Winifred M. Letts||Chaplain to the Forces||314|
|Eden Phillpotts||Song of the Red Cross||315|
|Laurence Binyon||The Healers||316|
|Edith M. Thomas||The Red Cross Nurse||317|
|Alfred Noyes||The "Vindictive"||320|
|Robert Bridges||The Chivalry of the Sea||322|
|Sir William Watson||The Battle of the Bight||323|
|Sir Henry Newbolt||The Song of the Guns at Sea||324|
|Morley Roberts||The Merchantmen||325|
|Reginald McIntosh Cleveland||Destroyers off Jutland||327|
|Katharine Tynan||After Jutland||327|
|J. Edgar Middleton||Off Heligoland||328|
|Lieutenant-Commander N. M. F. Corbett||The Auxiliary Cruiser||329|
|C. Fox Smith||British Merchant Service||330|
|C. Fox Smith||The North Sea Ground||332|
|Lieutenant Nowell Oxland||Outward Bound||334|
|Cecil Roberts||Watchmen of the Night||336|
|Norah M. Holland||Captains Adventurous||337|
|Flight-Commander Jeffery Day||338|
|Maurice Baring||In Memoriam A. H.||340|
|George Edward Woodberry||To the Wingless Victory||346|
|Grace Hazard Conkling||Letter to an Aviator in France||347|
|Duncan Campbell Scott||To a Canadian Aviator who died for his Country in France||349|
|Florence Earle Coates||Captain Guynemer||350|
|Captain Paul Bewsher||Searchlights||351|
|Robert Bridges||Trafalgar Square||353|
|Winifred M. Letts||To a Soldier in Hospital||354|
|Wilfrid Wilson Gibson||Between the Lines||355|
|Lieutenant Robert Haven Schauffler||The White Comrade||362|
|Alberta Vickridge, V.A.D.||Out of the Conflict||365|
|Lieutenant Rupert Brooke||The Dead||367|
|Sir Henry Newbolt||Hic Jacet Qui in Hoc Saeculo Fideliter Militavit||368|
|Laurence Binyon||For the Fallen||368|
|Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley||Two Sonnets||369|
|Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley||The Dead||370|
|Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae||In Flanders Fields||371|
|Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae||The Anxious Dead||371|
|Lieutenant Robert Ernest Vernède||To Our Fallen||372|
|Lieutenant Herbert Asquith||The Fallen Subaltern||373|
|Wilfrid Wilson Gibson||Lament||373|
|John Galsworthy||Valley of the Shadow||374|
|Lord Crewe||A Harrow Grave in Flanders||374|
|E. V. Lucas||The Debt||370|
|John Drinkwater||Riddles, R.F.C.||376|
|Barry Pain||The Army of the Dead||377|
|G. O. Warren||The Spectral Army||378|
|John Jay Chapman||To a Dog||378|
|Norreys Jephson O'Conor||For Francis Ledwidge||379|
|A. E.||The Last Hero||380|
|John Masefield||The Island of Skyros||380|
|Wilfrid Wilson Gibson||Rupert Brooke||381|
|Moray Dalton||Rupert Brooke (In Memoriam)||383|
|Eden Phillpotts||To Rupert Brooke||383|
|Robert Bridges||Lord Kitchener||384|
|Wilfred Campbell||Where Kitchener Sleeps||385|
|Amelia Josephine Burr||Kitchener's March||386|
|Sir Owen Seaman||To the Memory of Field-Marshal Earl Roberts||387|
|George Edward Woodberry||Edith Cavell||388|
|Thomas Hardy||Before Marching, and After||389|
|W. L. Courtney||To our Dead||390|
|G. E. Rees||Telling the Bees||390|
|Captain A. T. Nankivell||The House of Death||391|
|Margaret Adelaide Wilson||Gervais||391|
|Lieutenant Sigourney Thayer||The Dead||392|
|Claude Houghton||To the Fallen||392|
|Captain T. P. Cameron Wilson||Sportsmen in Paradise||393|
|A. E. Murray||The Dead||393|
|Duncan Campbell Scott||To a Canadian Lad, Killed in the War||394|
|Moray Dalton||To Some Who have Fallen||395|
|Lieutenant Ewart Alan Mackintosh||In Memoriam||395|
|Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick George Scott||The Silent Toast||397|
|Francis Bickley||The Players||398|
|Captain W. Kersley Holmes||Fallen||399|
|John Hogben||"Somewhere in France"||399|
|Marjorie Wilson||To Tony (aged 3)||400|
|Mildred Huxley||To my Godson||401|
|Katharine Tynan||New Heaven||402|
|Katharine Tynan||The Old Soldier||403|
|Lieutenant Ronald Lewis Carton||Réveillé||403|
|Lieutenant Walter Lightowler Wilkinson||A Lament from the Dead||404|
|Winifred M. Letts||The Call to Arms in our Street||406|
|G. O. Warren||The Endless Army||407|
|Katharine Tynan||The Mother||408|
|Marjorie Wilson||The Devonshire Mother||409|
|F. W. Bourdillon||The Heart-Cry||410|
|Ada Tyrell||My Son||410|
|Edward J. O'Brien||Song||412|
|Josephine Preston Peabody||Harvest Moon||412|
|Josephine Preston Peabody||Harvest Moon, 1916||414|
|Grace Fallow Norton||The Journey||415|
|Captain Gilbert Frankau||Mother and Mate||416|
|Gabrielle Elliot||Pierrot Goes to War||417|
|Katherine Hale||Grey Knitting||417|
|Katharine Tynan||At Parting||418|
|Beatrice W. Ravenel||Missing||419|
|Sara Teasdale||Spring in War-Time||420|
|Austin Dobson||"When there is Peace"||421|
|Austin Dobson||Clean Hands||421|
|G. O. Warren||Peace||422|
|Richard le Gallienne||After the War||423|
|Marjorie L. C. Pickthall||When It Is Finished||423|
|Sergeant Leslie Coulson||When I Come Home||425|
THE Editor desires to express his cordial appreciation of the assistance rendered him in his undertaking by the officials of the British Museum (Mr. F. D. Sladen, in particular) and the Librarians of the University of Tennessee; Professor W. Macneile Dixon, of the University of Glasgow; Professor Kemp Smith, of Princeton University; Mr. Norreys Jephson O'Connor, of Harvard University; Mr. Francis Bickley, of London; Mr. Francis Parsons, of Hartford, Connecticut; and Miss Olympe D. Trabue, of Washington, D.C. He wishes also to acknowledge the courtesies generously extended by the following authors, authors' representatives, periodicals, and publishers in granting permission for the use of the poems indicated, rights in which are in each case reserved by the owner of the copyright:—
Dr. John Ernest Adamson and the Fortnightly Review:—"Resurrection."
The Right Honourable H. H. Asquith, Lady Cynthia Asquith and the Spectator:—"On a Troopship, 1915," and "A Flemish Village"; "The Volunteer" and "The Fallen Subaltern," from The Volunteer, and Other Poems (Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson, London), by Lieutenant Herbert Asquith.
The Honourable Maurice Baring:—"In Memoriam A. H.", from Poems: 1914-1917 (Martin Seeker).
Dr. H. H. Bashford and the Nation (London):—"The Vision of Spring, 1916," from Songs out of School (Messrs. Constable & Company, London, and Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston).
Miss Maud Anna Bell and the London Times:—"From a Trench."
Mr. Hilaire Belloc and the New Witness:—"Sedan."
Lieutenant William Rose Benét and the Century Magazine:—"Front Line."
Captain Paul Bewsher and the London Graphic:—"Searchlights"; from The Bombing of Bruges (Messrs. Hodder & Stoughton).
Mr. Francis Bickley and the Westminster Gazette:—"The Players."
Mr. Laurence Binyon:—"To the Belgians", "Men of Verdun", "The Anvil", "The Healers" and "For the Fallen," from The Anvil and The Winnowing Fan (Elkin Mathews, London); Mr. Binyon and the New York Times:—"The New World;" Mr. Binyon and the Atlantic Monthly:—"Oxford in War Time," from The New World (Elkin Mathews, London).
Mr. F. W. Bourdillon:—"The Heart-Cry"; Mr. Bourdillon and the Spectator:—"The Call"; "The Debt Unpayable."
Dr. Gamaliel Bradford and the Nation (New York):—"Napoleon."
Mr. Robert Bridges and the London Times:—"The Chivalry of the Sea," "Lord Kitchener," "Trafalgar Square" and "To the United States of America."
Mr. Charles William Brodribb and the Times:—"Expeditional."
Mr. Dana Burnet and the New York Evening Sun:—"The Battle of Liège" and "Napoleon's Tomb."
Miss Amelia Josephine Burr:—"Kitchener's March," from Life and Living (Messrs. George H. Doran Company, New York).
Mr. Maxwell Struthers Burt and Scribner's Magazine:—"Pierrot at War."
Mrs. Wilfred Campbell and The Musson Book Company (Toronto):—"Langemarck" and "Where Kitchener Sleeps," by the late Wilfred Campbell.
Mr. Bliss Carman:—"The War Cry of the Eagles."
Lieutenant Ronald Lewis Carton:—"Hereafter" and "Réveillé," from Steel and Flowers (Elkin Mathews, London).
Mr. Patrick R. Chalmers and Punch:—"Guns of Verdun," "Infantry" and "The Steeple."
Mrs. Grace Ellery-Channing-Stetson and the New York Tribune:—"Flower-Beds in the Tuileries."
Mr. John Jay Chapman and Vanity Fair:—"To a Dog."
The late Cecil Chesterton and the New Witness:—"France."
Mr. Gilbert Keith Chesterton and the New Witness:—"The Ballad of St. Barbara"; Mr. Chesterton and Messrs. Burns & Gates:—"The Wife of Flanders," from Poems (published also by the John Lane Company, New York).
Mr. Reginald McIntosh Cleveland and the New York Times:—"Destroyers off Jutland."
Mrs. Florence Earle Coates:—"Place de la Concorde," from The Collected Poems of Florence Earle Coates (Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston); "Serbia" and "Captain Guynemer."
Miss Helen Gray Cone and Messrs. J. M. Dent & Sons, Limited, London:—"A Chant of Love for England," from A Chant of Love for England, and Other Poems (published also by Messrs. E. P. Dutton & Company, New York); Miss Cone and the New York Times:—"To Belgium."
Mrs. Grace Hazard Conkling:—"Rheims Cathedral—1914," from Afternoons of April (Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston); "Letter to an Aviator in France."
Lieutenant-Commander N. M. F. Corbett and Land and Water:—"The Auxiliary Cruiser."
Mr. F. Raymond Coulson and Mr. Erskine Macdonald: "The Rainbow," and "When I Come Home," by Sergeant Leslie Coulson, from From an Outpost (Erskine Macdonald).
Mr. W. L. Courtney and the Fortnightly Review:—"To Our Dead."
Miss Charlotte Holmes Crawford and Scribner's Magazine:—"Vive la France!"
Lord Crewe and the Harrovian:—"A Harrow Grave in Flanders."
Mr. Moray Dalton and the Spectator:—"To Italy" and "Rupert Brooke"; Mr. Dalton and the West Sussex Gazette:—"To Some Who Have Fallen."
Mrs. Olive Tilford Dargan and the Atlantic Monthly:—" 'It Will Be a Hard Winter.' "
Mr. G. D. Day: "North Sea," from Poems and Rhymes, by Flight-Commander Jeffery Day, R.N.A.S. (Sidgwick & Jackson).
Lord Desborough and the London Times:—"Into Battle," by the late Captain Julian Grenfell.
Mr. Walter de la Mare and the Westminster Gazette:—"The Fool Rings his Bells."
Captain Edward de Stein and the London Times:—"To a Skylark behind Our Trenches," from The Poets in Picardy (John Murray, London).
Professor W. Macneile Dixon and the London Times:—"To Fellow Travellers in Greece."
Mr. Austin Dobson:—"When There is Peace" and "Clean Hands."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the London Times:—"The Guns in Sussex" and "The Guards Came Through." (John Murray).
Rev. W. H. Draper and the Spectator:—"The Red Christmas," from Poems of the Love of England (Messrs. Chatto & Windus).
Mr. John Drinkwater and Messrs. Sidgwick and Jackson:—"Riddles, R.F.C." (the Saturday Review), "Of Greatham," and "We Willed It Not." (the Sphere).
Lord Dunsany and the Saturday Review:—"Songs from an Evil Wood."
Miss Gabrielle Elliot and the New York Times:—"Pierrot Goes to War."
Mrs. Theodosia Garrison Faulks and Good Housekeeping:—"These Shall Prevail."
Mrs. Sara Teasdale Filsinger and Harper's Magazine:—" 'There Will Come Soft Rains' "; "Spring in War-Time," from Rivers to the Sea (The Macmillan Company).
Dr. John H. Finley and the Yale Review:—"The Valleys of the Blue Shrouds." Dr. Finley and the Atlantic Monthly:—"The Road to Dieppe."
Professor O. W. Firkins and the Nation (New York):—"To America in War Time."
Mr. John Gould Fletcher and the Century Magazine:—"The Last Rally"; Mr. Fletcher and the New Republic:—"Channel Sunset."
Mrs. M. Forrest and the Spectator:—"The Heroes."
Captain Gilbert Frankau:—"Headquarters," "Ammunition Column" and "The Voice of the Guns," from The Guns (Messrs. Chatto & Windus, London); and A Song of the Guns (Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston); and "Mother and Mate," from The Other Side and Other Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, New York).
Mr. John Freeman and the Westminster Gazette:—"The Return"; Mr. Freeman and Messrs. Selwyn & Blount, London:—"Sweet England" and "The Stars in their Courses," from Presage of Victory and Other Poems of the Time.
Lieutenant-Colonel W. Campbell Galbraith and the Westminster Gazette:—"Red Poppies in the Corn."
Mr. John Galsworthy and the Westminster Gazette:—"England to Free Men"; Mr. Galsworthy and the London Chronicle:—"The Soldier Speaks"; Mr. Galsworthy and the Nation (London):—"Valley of the Shadow," from A Sheaf (William Heinemann, London, and Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York).
Mrs. John W. Garvin ("Katherine Hale"), the Toronto Globe, and William Briggs, Toronto:—"Grey Knitting."
Lady Glenconner: "Home Thoughts from Laventie" (the London Times), "Reincarnation" and "Light after Darkness," from Worple Flit (B. H. Blackwell, Oxford), by the late Lieutenant E. Wyndham Tennant.
Mr. Wilfrid Wilson Gibson and the Fortnightly Review:—"Rupert Brooke," from Battle and Other Poems (The Macmillan Company): "Lament" and "The Ragged Stone," from Hill-Tracks (The Macmillan Company); "Retreat," and "Between the Lines" (The Macmillan Company).
Colonel Lord Gorell and the Contemporary Review:—"Ypres," from Days of Destiny (Messrs. Longmans, Green & Company).
Mr. Robert Grant and the Nation (New York):—"The Superman."
Captain Robert Graves and the Nation (London):—"The Last Post," from Fairies and Fusiliers (William Heinemann, London).
Mr. Hagedorn and the Century Magazine:—"Resurrection."
Captain James Norman Hall and the Spectator:—"The Cricketers of Flanders"; Captain Hall and the Century Magazine:—"A Finger and a Huge, Thick Thumb."
Mr. Thomas Hardy and the Fortnightly Review:—"Before Marching, and After"; Mr. Hardy and the London Times:—"Men Who March Away" and "Then and Now," from Satires of Circumstance (Macmillan & Company); Mr. Hardy and the Saturday Review:—"In Time of 'the Breaking of Nations,' " from Moments of Vision (Messsrs. Macmillan & Company).
Miss Isabel Westcott Harper and Chambers' Journal:—"Highland Night, 1715, 1815, 1915."
Lieutenant F. W. Harvey:—"The Bugler," from Gloucester Friends (Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson, London).
Dr. Henry Head and the Yale Review:—"Destroyers," from Destroyers and Other Verses (Oxford University Press).
Mr. John Helston:—"Advance, America!"; Mr. Helston and the English Review:—"Kitchener."
Mr. Aubrey Herbert ("Ben Kendim") and the Spectator:—"The New Zealander."
Miss Ethel M. Hewitt and Harper's Magazine:—"Bois Étoilé."
Mr. Maurice Hewlett:—"In the Trenches," from Sing-Songs of the War (The Poetry Bookshop; "The Fourth of July, 1776."
Mrs. Katharine Tynan Hinkson and the New Witness:—"High Summer"; Mrs. Hinkson and the Nation (London):—"New Heaven"; "After Jutland," "The Mother," and "At Parting," from Late Songs (Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson); "To the Others."
Mr. John Hogben and the Spectator:—"Somewhere in France."
Miss Norah M. Holland:—"Captains Adventurous" (Messrs. J. M. Dent & Company, London and Toronto).
Captain W. Kersley Holmes and the Glasgow News:—"Fallen" and "Horse-Bathing Parade," from More Ballads of Field and Billet (Alexander Gardner, Paisley).
Mr. Claude Houghton and the New Witness:—"To the Fallen," from The Phantom Host (Elkin Mathews, London).
Mr. William Dean Howells and the North American Review:—"The Passengers of a Retarded Submersible."
Lady Hutchinson:—"Sonnets," by the late Lieutenant Henry William Hutchinson.
Miss Mildred Huxley and the Spectator:—"Subalterns" and "To my Godson."
Mr. Herbert Kaufman:—"The Hell-Gate of Soissons," from The Hell-Gate of Soissons and Other Poems (T. Fisher Unwin, Limited, London; published also by the Macmillan Company, New York).
Mr. Harry Kemp and Munsey's Magazine:—"The New Ally."
Dr. Guy Kendall and the Spectator:—"Mopsus" and "To my Pupils, Gone before their Day," from The Call and Other Poems (Messrs. Chapman & Hall).
Mrs. Kettle:—"A Song of the Irish Armies," and "To My Daughter Betty," from Poems and Parodies (London: Duckworth. Dublin: The Talbot Press).
Mr. Rudyard Kipling:—"For All We Have and Are," and "The Choice," from The Years Between (Methuen).
Captain James H. Knight-Adkin and the Spectator:—"No Man's Land" and "On Les Aura!"
Miss Kathleen Knox and Punch:—"A Lost Land."
Lieutenant Joseph Lee and the Spectator:—"German Prisoners" and "Back to London," from Work-a-Day Warriors (John Murray).
Mr. Richard le Gallienne:—"After the War."
Miss Winifred M. Letts and the Spectator:—"To a Soldier in Hospital"; Miss Letts and the Westminster Gazette:—"The Spires of Oxford," "Chaplain to the Forces," and "The Call to Arms in Our Street," from Hallowe'en, and Poems of the War (John Murray, London); The Spires of Oxford and Other Poems (E. P. Dutton & Company, New York); Miss Letts and the Yale Review:—"The Connaught Rangers."
Mr. Vachel Lindsay:—"Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight," from The Congo and Other Poems (The Macmillan Company); "Niagara," from The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems (The Macmillan Company).
Miss Amy Lowell and Scribner's Magazine:—"Convalescence."
Mr. E. V. Lucas and the Sphere:—"The Debt."
Rev. W. T. Lyon:—"Lines Written in a Fire-Trench" and "Easter at Ypres, 1915," by the late W. S. S. Lyon, from Easter at Ypres, 1915, and Other Poems (Messrs. James Maclehose & Sons, Glasgow).
Mr. Patrick MacGill:—"Before the Charge" and "In the Morning," from Soldier Songs (Herbert Jenkins, Ltd., London, and Messrs. E. P. Dutton & Company, New York).
Mrs. Isabel Ecclestone Mackay and the Canadian Magazine:—"The Recruit."
Mr. Percy MacKaye:—"Christmas, 1915," from Poems and Plays (The Macmillan Company); "Magna Carta," from The Present Hour (The Macmillan Company.)
Lieutenant Frederic Manning:—"The Sign," "The Trenches," "The Face" and "Transport," from Eidola (John Murray, London, and Messrs. E. P. Dutton & Company, New York).
Mrs. Josephine Preston Peabody Marks:—"Harvest Moon," and "Harvest Moon, 1916," from Harvest Moon (Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company.)
Mr. Edward Marsh, literary executor of the late Lieutenant Rupert Brooke: "The Soldier," "The Dead," "Peace" and "Safety," from 1914, and Other Poems (Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson, London, and Messrs. McClelland & Stewart, Toronto); The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke (The John Lane Company, New York).
Mr. John Masefield and Contemporary Verse:—"The Choice." Mr. Masefield and the Macmillan Company: "The Island of Skyros."
Mrs. McCrae and Dr. Thomas McCrae:—"In Flanders Fields" (Punch) and "The Anxious Dead" (the Spectator), from In Flanders Fields and Other Poems (Messrs. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York; Messrs. Hodder & Stoughton, London).
Mr. J. Edgar Middleton:—"Off Heligoland," From Sea Dogs and Men-at-Arms (Messrs. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, and Messrs. McClelland & Stewart, Toronto).
Mrs. Stuart Moore ("Evelyn Underhill") and the Westminster Gazette:—"Non-Combatants," from Immanence (Messrs. J. M. Dent & Company, London, and Messrs. E. P. Dutton & Company, New York).
Lieutenant Charles Langbridge Morgan and the Westminster Gazette:—"To America."
Mr. Christopher Morley:—"To the Oxford Men in the War," from Songs for a Little House (The George H. Doran Company).
Mr. Neil Munro and Blackwood's Magazine:—"Romance," "Pipes in Arras," and "Lochaber No more!"
Miss A. E. Murray and the Nation (London):—"The Dead."
Captain A. T. Nankivell and the Westminster Gazette:—"The House of Death."
Sir Henry Newbolt:—"The Vigil"; "The War Films"; "The Toy Band"; "A Letter from the Front"; "The Song of the Guns at Sea," and "Hic Jacet Qui in Hoc Saeculo Militavit."
Lieutenant Robert Nichols:—"Comrades: An Episode," "Fulfilment" and "The Day's March," from Ardours and Endurances (Messrs. Chatto & Windus, London, and the Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York).
Miss Grace Fallow Norton:—"The Mobilization in Brittany," and "The Journey," from Roads (Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston).
Mr. Alfred Noyes:—"Wireless" and "The 'Vindictive' " (The Frederick A. Stokes Company); "The Searchlights" (London Times), "Kilmeny" and "Princeton, May, 1917"; New Poems (Blackwood).
Mr. Edward J. O'Brien and the Century Magazine:—"Song."
Mr. Norreys Jephson O'Conor:—"Moira's Keening"; Mr. O'Conor and Contemporary Verse:—"For Francis Ledwidge."
Mr. Will H. Ogilvie and the Spectator:—"Queenslanders" (Messrs. Angus & Robertson, Ltd., Sydney, Australia); Mr. Ogilvie and Country Life:—"Canadians."
Rev. Everard Owen:—"Ypres Tower, Rye"; Mr. Owen and Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson:—"Three Hills" (London Times), from Three Hills and Other Poems.
Mr. Barry Pain and the London Times:—"The Kaiser and God"; Mr. Pain and the Westminster Gazette:—"The Army of the Dead."
Mr. Eden Phillpotts:—"Verdun," "Song of the Red Cross," "In Gallipoli," "To Rupert Brooke," and "Réveillé," from Plain Song, 1914–1916 (William Heinemann, London, and The Macmillan Company, New York).
Mrs. Marjorie L. C. Pickthall:—"When It is Finished"; Mrs. Pickthall and the London Times:—"Canada to England."
Mrs. Beatrice W. Ravenel and the Atlantic Monthly:—"Missing."
Rev. Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley:—"Going to the Front."
Rev. G. E. Rees, and the Westminster Gazette:—"Telling the Bees."
Mr. Cecil Roberts and the Poetry Review:—"Watchmen of the Night."
Major Charles G. D. Roberts: "Cambrai and Marne," from New Poems, by Major Charles G. D. Roberts (Constable).
Mr. Morley Roberts and the Westminster Gazette:—"To America" and "The Merchantmen," from War Lyrics (Messrs. Selwyn & Blount, London).
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Ronald Ross:—"The Death of Peace" and "Apocalypse" (The Poetry Review).
Mr. George W. Russell ("A. E.") and the London Times:—"Gods of War" and "Shadows and Lights"; Mr. Russell and Messrs. Macmillan & Company:—"The Last Hero."
Captain Siegfried Sassoon (by Lieutenant Robert Nichols):—"Troops" and "Trench Duty," from Counter-Attack and Other Poems (William Heinemann, London, and Messrs. E. P. Dutton & Company, New York).
Lieutenant Robert Haven Schauffler:—"The White Comrade" and "After Action."
Mr. Clinton Scollard:—"Italy in Arms," from Italy in Arms, and Other Poems (Lawrence J. Gomme, New York); "A Summer Morning," from Let the Flag Wave (Messrs. James T. White & Company, New York).
Mr. Duncan Campbell Scott:—"To a Canadian Lad Killed in the War," from Lundy's Lane and Other Poems (Messrs. McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, and the George H. Doran Company, New York); Mr. Scott and Scribner's Magazine:—"To a Canadian Aviator Who Died for his Country in France."
Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick George Scott:—"The Silent Toast" (Messrs. Constable & Company, London).
Sir Owen Seaman, Punch, and Messrs. Constable & Company:—"Thomas of the Light Heart," and "To Belgium in Exile," from War-Time; Sir Owen Seaman and Punch:—"To the Memory of Field-Marshal Earl Roberts."
Mr. Robert W. Service: "The Volunteer," "Fleurette," "Faith," and "The Song of the Pacifist," from The Rhymes of a Red Cross Man (Fisher Unwin).
Captain William G. Shakespeare:—"The Cathedral," from Ypres and Other Poems (Messrs. Sidgwick & Jackson, London).
Professor Odell Shepard:—"The Hidden Weaver," from A Lonely Flute (Messrs. Houghton Mifflin Company).
Professor Stuart P. Sherman and the Nation (New York):—"Kaiser and Councillor."
Mr. Edward Shillito and the London Chronicle:—"Invalided."
Miss C. Fox Smith:—"Farewell to Anzac" (the Spectator) and "St. George of England," from Fighting Men (Elkin Mathews, London); Miss Smith and the Spectator:—"British Merchant Service," from The Naval Crown (Elkin Mathews); Miss Smith and Punch:—"The North Sea Ground." By permission also of the George H. Doran Company, New York.
Mr. W. Snow and the Oxford Magazine—"The Ghosts of Oxford."
Professor William R. Sorley:—"Expectans Expectavi." "All the Hills and Vales Along," "Two Sonnets," and "The Dead," by the late Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley, from Marlborough and Other Poems (The Cambridge University Press).
Mr. George Sterling and the Delineator:—"Henri."
Rev. William G. Thayer and the Atlantic Monthly:—"The Dead," by Lieutenant Sigourney Thayer.
Miss Edith M. Thomas and Harper's Magazine:—"The Red Cross Nurse."
The late Professor Thomas Trotter:—"The Poplars," and "A Kiss," by the late Bernard Freeman Trotter, from A Canadian Twilight and Other Poems of War and of Peace (McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, and the George H. Doran Company, New York).
Mrs. Ada Tyrrell and the Saturday Review:—"My Son."
Dr. Henry van Dyke and Scribner's Magazine:—"The Peaceful Warrior."
Mr. Tertius van Dyke and the Spectator:—"Oxford Revisited in War-Time."
Mrs. Robert E. Vernède, the London Times, and William Heinemann, London:—"To our Fallen" and "A Petition," by the late Lieutenant Robert Ernest Vernède.
Mr. John Walker ("Rowland Thirlmere"):—"Richmond Park," from Diogenes at Athens and Other Poems (Messrs. Selwyn & Blount, London); "Jimmy Doane" (The Poetry Review) and "Gassed."
Mrs. G. O. Warren:—"The Spectral Army," "Peace," and "The Endless Army," from Trackless Regions (B. H. Blackwell, Oxford, and Messrs. Longmans, Green & Company, New York); Mrs. Warren and the Spectator:—"Fulfilment."
Sir William Watson:—"The Battle of the Bight," from The Man Who Saw, and Other Poems Arising out of the War (John Murray, London, and Messrs. Harper & Brothers, New York).
Mrs. Edith Wharton, the Century Magazine, and Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons:—"Battle Sleep"; Mrs. Wharton:—"Belgium," from King Albert's Book (Hearst's International Library Company).
Miss Margaret Widdemer:—"Homes," from The Old Road to Paradise (Messrs. Henry Holt & Company).
Mrs. Fredeline Wilson, the Westminster Gazette, and Mr. Harold Monro, The Poetry Bookshop, London:—"Magpies in Picardy" and "Sportsmen in Paradise," by the late Captain T. P. Cameron Wilson.
Miss Margaret Adelaide Wilson and the Yale Review:—"Gervais."
Miss Marjorie Wilson and the Spectator:—"To Tony, Aged 3"; Miss Wilson and the Westminster Gazette:—"The Devonshire Mother."
Lieutenant E. Armine Wodehouse and the Fortnightly Review:—"Before Ginchy"; "Next Morning," from On Leave (Elkin Mathews, London).
Dr. George Edward Woodberry and the Boston Herald:—"On the Italian Front, MCMXVI"; Dr. Woodberry, the New York Times and the North American Review:—"Sonnets Written in the Autumn of 1914"; Dr. Woodberry and the Atlantic Monthly:—"To the Wingless Victory"; Dr. Woodberry and the North American Review:—"Roumania"; Dr. Woodberry and Scribner's Magazine:—"Edith Cavell."
Mrs. Margaret L. Woods and the Fortnightly Review:—"The First Battle of Ypres."
Lieutenant-Commander E. Hilton Young and the Cornhill Magazine:—"Memories."
The Canadian Magazine:—"Ruins," by George Herbert Clarke.
The Spectator:—"Christ in Flanders," by Mrs. C. T. Whitmell; "To my Brother," by the late Flight-Commander Miles Jeffrey Game Day; and "The Challenge of the Guns," by Private A. N. Field.
The London Times:—"Outward Bound," by the late Lieutenant Nowell Oxland.
The Westminster Gazette:—"Lines Written in Surrey, 1917," by George Herbert Clarke.
Messrs. Angus & Robertson, Sydney, Australia: "England Yet," by Henry Lawson, from Selected Poems.
The Cambridge Press: "Battle Hymn," from Poems, by Lieut. Donald F. Goold Johnson.
Messrs. Cassell & Company, London, and the Funk & Wagnalls Company, New York:—"A Confession of Faith," by Captain James Sprent, from The Anzac Book (Anzac Book Committee).
Messrs. Constable & Company:—"I have a Rendezvous with Death," and "Champagne, 1914-15," by the late Alan Seeger, from Poems (published also by Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York).
The George H. Doran Company, New York:—"Kings" and "The New School," from Main Street and Other Poems, by the late Sergeant Joyce Kilmer.
Messrs. Hodder & Stoughton: "Prayer of a Soldier in France," and "The Peacemaker," by Joyce Kilmer, from Joyce Kilmer: Poems, Essays and Letters. "War," and "A Mother Understands," from Rough Rhymes of a Padre, and "Solomon in All His Glory," from More Rough Rhymes of a Padre, by G. A. Studdert Kennedy, M.C., C.F. ("Woodbine Willie"). "The Name of France," by Henry Van Dyke, from The Red Flower.
Herbert Jenkins, Limited, London:—"Evening in England," "The Place," "Evening Clouds," "Autumn Evening in Serbia," and "The Homecoming of the Sheep," from Songs of Peace, by the late Lance-corporal Francis Ledwidge, edited by Lord Dunsany.
Messrs. Macmillan & Company:—"Australia to England," by Archibald T. Strong, from Sonnets of the Empire.
Mr. Erskine Macdonald: "A Lament for the Dead," by Lieut. Walter L. Wilkinson, from More Songs by the Fighting Men. "Out of the Conflict," by Alberta Vickridge, V.A.D., from The Sea Gazer.
Mr. Elkin Mathews: "England," and "Burn up the World," from The Challenge, by Lieut. Leonard Van Noppen, U.S.A.
Mr. John Murray and the New Witness:—"God's Hills," by the late Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson ("Edward Melbourne").
Mr. John Murray:—"Before Action" and "Back to Rest," from Verse and Prose, by W. Noel Hodgson.
The Princeton University Press:—"To France," by Herbert Jones, from A Book of Princeton Verse.
Messrs. Tyrell's, Limited, Sydney, Australia: "Song of the Dardanelles," and "Fighting Hard," by Henry Lawson, from My Army, O, My Army.
BECAUSE man is both militant and pacific, he has expressed in literature, as indeed in the other forms of art, his pacific and militant moods. Nor are these moods, of necessity, incompatible. War may become the price of peace, and peace may so decay as inevitably to bring about war. Of the dully unresponsive pacifist and the jingo patriot, quick to anger, the latter no doubt is the more dangerous to the cause of true freedom, yet both are "undesirable citizens." He who believes that peace is illusory and spurious unless it be based upon justice and liberty, will be proud to battle, if battle he must, for the sake of those foundations. If man is inexhaustible, his poetry is peculiarly so, because in his poetry his spirit is least partisan, most catholic and curious. War, adventure, the mysteries of faith, the changeful aspects of Nature (whether virgin or domesticated), and romantic love—about these themes, or some variation or interrelation of them, the poets have always wondered and sung. From all five of them derives a sense of anticipation, discovery, of Platonic reminiscence. The significance of human life, the riddle of its essential quality, the meaning of its discipline, the secret of its destiny,—these questions challenge the poet most of all. From this vantage and from that he attacks them with all the imaginative ardour at his command, hoping that he may somewhere disengage a hint of latent harmony, may lessen in some degree the perplexities of that "boundless Phantasmagoria and Dream-Grotto"—our human life. What is a poem, then, but a spiritual impulse and adventure shaped and realized (in part at least) in words of inspiring beauty, of passionate sincerity, of creative insight? But since life is whole, the artistic interpretation of life tends progressively toward unity. Poetry, says a true poet, "is, on the one hand, a spirit, animating one individual here and another there; on the other hand, in its outward manifestations, it is a collection of works produced by that spirit working in individuals." So Shelley speaks of "that great poem which all poets, like the co-operating thoughts of one great mind, have built up since the beginning of the world." And Sir William Watson writes:—
". . . 'neath the unifying sun,
Many the songs—but Song is one."
In a sense, then, we do less than justice to the spirit of poetry when we assign its outward manifestations too readily to class and category, save only as the study of form and manner may require. The phrase "war poetry" is a convenient one, but war poetry, after all, may be as broadly comprehensive in its insights and occasions as poetry which has no relation to war. If it be worthy, it is the finely wrought record of a sympathetic reaction to the enkindling heroisms of war, or of an antipathetic reaction to its sorrows, its brutalities and its uglinesses. Nobly conceived and expressed as are not a few poems written by combatants, the contention that the soldier-poet must possess more authentic power as an interpreter of war than his equally endowed but non-militant fellow is, I think, without warrant. The history of war poetry does not so attest. When we respond to the epical struggles in Homer and Spenser and Milton, or follow the unfolding of the great war-pageantry of Shakespeare, or stir to the ringing music of the martial ballads; when we re-create for ourselves Drayton's Agincourt, Lovelace's incomparable lyrics to Lucasta, Collins' How Sleep the Brave, Cowper's Boadicea, Scott's Flodden Field and Bonny Dundee, Campbell's Hohenlinden, The Soldier's Dream, and The Battle of the Baltic, Tennyson's The Revenge, The Defence of Lucknow, and Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington, Browning's Cavalier Tunes and Hervé Riel, Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps, or Thomas Hardy's monumental drama, The Dynasts;—when these veritable war poems take hold upon us we have no need to seal our pleasure with any assurance that the writers did or did not physically participate in conflict. The true warrior-poet is born a poet, but becomes a warrior, and it is even possible that if his actual experience in war be too long continued it may dull and blunt that restless, inquiring, delicately registering organ, the poet's mind. The poet in the soldier, indeed, may rejoice at his experience so long as it offers food imaginatively convenient for him, but the essay at the artistic interpretation of war is, like all similar efforts, primarily a spiritual undertaking, conditioned rather upon qualities of personality than upon definite objective contacts, valuable as these latter may be in point of stimulus. Whether he wear uniform or mufti, the war poet must imagine war, and imagination, Carveth Read tells us, "is not made of particular fact, but of infinite analogies of things, and of things that were never observed or thought of until analogy called them to life." True poets, as Ibsen thought, are really far-sighted, whether the thing that inspires them be concretely near or far. Undoubtedly, the artist who functions in a world at peace might gain much from travel, should oportunity offer, but in any case he realizes that the world is made up of its own miniatures, and that he who interprets in a catholic spirit the life about him interprets all life. So, in a war-torn world, the poet becomes sensitively aware of the dreads and longings, the prides and pities, engendered by war within his own interior spirit and within the spirits of those about him. It is in these that the subtler meanings and realities of war are most surely to be found.
Two points of difference, however, between the militant and the non-militant war poet are sometimes appreciable. The fighting poet seem seldom to display a spirit of personal hatred toward the enemy, but apparently reserves his hatred for the impersonal Wrong for whose sake the enemy fights. This tendency is well illustrated by Lieutenant Joseph Lee's German Prisoners; the late Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley's sonnet, To Germany ; Corporal Alexander Robertson's "Thou Shalt Love Thine Enemies," and Captain James Norman Hall's Out of Flanders. Again, the poet at the Front, unless he be a determined Realist, often turns impatiently away from the attempt to represent actual warfare, and tries instead to visualize some emotional antidote. As Lord Crewe has discerningly said, "It seems that the soldier who is also a writer is as likely to set his mind on green fields and spring flowers as on the bloody drama in which he is an actor, and to tune his lyre accordingly. . . . So that among the verse written by soldiers in this war it is not surprising to find as many poems recalling loves of home and memories of country days as proclaiming the delight of battle, or even the loftier summons of patriotism and duty. Some of this work of to-day, as we all know, transcends the lyrical faculty which is the frequent appanage of youth, and reaches the level of true poetry; some of it is made sacred by the death of the writer, and cannot be coldly weighed in the balance."
Whether or not, then, he be privileged to see war with the eye of sense, and to share its rigours and ardours with fellow-soldiers, the first duty of the war-poet toward his art is to be a poet, to discover the timeless and placeless in the momentary and parochial, and to bring back to us a true and moving report of the experience and behaviour of the human spirit during its recurrent struggles with its own worser self. If he be on active service, the poet will, like Archilochus, the more loyally render unto Ares the things that are Ares', because he continues to offer unto Apollo the things that are Apollo's. If he be involved in other than the military activities of war, he may have even the greater need to preach to himself, as to his readers, the gospel of Art, and to carry his priesthood pure through moments of civic dejection or gusty passion. In either case, it will be his ultimate desire as a poet to develop and express (even though indirectly) a poet's philosophy of war. And his philosophy will be both stern and kind, both just and magnanimous. He will not quarrel about professional or political attitudes toward war. He will not quarrel about attitudes at all. He will see war now as a great and gallant adventure; now as an inevitable molecular movement; now as the abomination of desolation; now, perhaps, as Rowland Thirlmere sees it in Nocturne:—
"O silent heavens, where infinite kings abide,
What wars impassion the invisible spheres
That people you? What unimagined fears
Possess their habitants? Does excessive pride
Move them in cheerful hosts to fratricide?
Beyond the eternal hope of earth, do tears
Fall, as the unavengéd widow peers
Into the night with prayer unsatisfied?
"Gods against gods may war in agony,—
Sovereignties against sovereignties disperse
Their lightnings in unending enmity
Of good and ill,—and they whose thoughts accurse
Our world, perchance fight now vicariously
For secret princes of the universe."
Sometimes war will seem to the poet, despite its evils, to offer an ennobling spiritual enfranchisement in the face of danger and death, to encourage the soul to renounce the petty timidities and cautions to which the prosaic life of getting on in the world teaches men to conform. The man of war, he will feel, has an altogether unusual opportunity to realize himself, to cleanse and heal himself through the mastering of his physical fears; through the facing of his moral doubts; through the re-examination of whatever thoughts he may have possessed, theretofore, about life and death and the universe; and through the quietly unselfish devotion he owes to the welfare of his fellows and to the cause of his native land. Sometimes the poet will persuade himself that war is, in its essence, merely the noun that corresponds to the adjective dynamic, that it means effort, adventure, burden, growth, struggle, work, indeed the maintenance and development of one's being, that it includes every expression of ideas in the service of knowledge and wisdom, and that it is in this sense an inalienable condition of existence. And sometimes he will curse the very thought of war as he sees it oversweep all humanity's painful safeguards, attacking the Ariel of man's hopes to make room for his enemy Caliban, brazenly emerging like an international Mr. Hyde from a too trustful Dr. Jekyll, and "reeling back into the beast."
Into the stuff of his thought and utterance, whether he be on active service or not, the poet-interpreter of war weaves these various intentions, and co-operates with his fellows in building up a little higher and better, from time to time, that edifice of truth for whose completion can be spared no human experience, no human hope.
Thus he will be striking balances in mood and verdict, while the seemingly insoluable realities behind these conflicting thoughts continue to impinge upon one another. It is natural enough, therefore, that the long debate between Romanticism and Realism in art should have affected war poetry. The partisans of the work of Robert Nichols, Frederic Manning, and the later Siegfried Sassoon, and of Gilbert Frankau's grimly impatient protest, The Other Side, will find little in common with those who turn habitually to Rupert Brooke, Alan Seeger, Francis Ledwidge, or Laurence Binyon. But poetry is a more flexible thing than are the minds of either its creators or its critics, who so often allow their temperamental differences to harden into creeds and dicta. Between Realist and Romanticist there is no radical, permanent cleavage. Both are aware that the world is made up of multiple symbols (for even the realist's fact is the symbol of an idea); both select for artistic patterning such symbols as attract their respective imagination. Realistic closeness to fact does not, if it be wise, aim at mere objective copyism, but rather at the precipitation of the bald fact's subjective values, while the Romantic singling out of the exceptional as against the commonplace is due merely to the belief that the exceptional (precisely because it is exceptional) is of more symbolic worth than the commonplace. The art that is broad enough to include the whispered assonances of Poe, the cryptic chants of Emerson, the flooding harmonies of Shelley, the dreamy magic of Keats and of Coleridge, the subtle appraisements of Browning, and the marrowy tales of Masefield, can reject neither the bare, hard fact of the Realist nor the "sleep and forgetting" of the Romanticist, provided only that the offering be beautiful in spirit and in truth. Idealistic Realism is as natural as idealistic Romanticism. The difference is one of varying preference and emphasis in the choice and treatment of material. The same poet, it is apparent, may write, with equal success and sincerity, now in one mode, now in another; only he must make sure that fact-symbol and fancy-symbol are in each case prescribed by his imagination, and that the focus of his vision does not suffer distortion. Although Romanticism must continue to offer to the coming poet the most grateful means of escaping sufficiently from the physical world to observe its phenomena with the wholesome perspective of Art, yet he will readily adopt the realistic method where it is indicated by the scale and intention of his work. He may even synthetically employ "romantic realism" (to use Arthur Symons' phrase), as Browning did in Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came. The more creative the poet, indeed, the more difficult it must prove to "place" and confine him. He will care less for theory and experimentation—even his own necessary theory and experimentation—than for the patient worship and service of that Truth which "Art remains the one way possible" of discovering,—that true Truth, that essential Truth, which Mrs. Browning so thoughtfully opposes to
". . . relative, comparative,
And temporal truths."
As the following pages will attest, English and American literatures have both received genuine accessions during the Great War. With its close, the attempt to review and assemble its poetic voices becomes measurably possible. In the present Anthology the editorial policy has been humanly hospitable rather than academically critical, especially in the case of some of the verses written by soldiers at the Front, which, however slight in certain instances their technical merit may be, are yet of psychological value as sincere transcripts of personal experience, and will, it is thought, for that very reason, particularly attract and interest the reader. It goes without saying that there are several poems in this group which conspicuously succeed also as works of art. For the rest, the attempt has been made, within such limitations as have been experienced, to present pretty freely the best of what has been found available in contemporary British and American war verse. It must speak for itself, and in not a few instances it does so with unusual sympathy and with living power; sometimes, too, with that quietly intimate companionableness which we find in Gray's Elegy, rightly indicated by John Masefield as a prime quality in English poetry. But if this quality appears in Chaucer and the pre-Romanticists and Wordsworth, it appears also in Longfellow and Lowell, in Emerson and Lanier, and in William Vaughn Moody; for American poetry is, after all, as English poetry—"with a difference"—sprung from the same sources, and coursing along similar channels.
The new fellowship of the two great Anglo-Saxon nations which a book of this character may, to a degree, illustrate, is filled with such high promise for both of them, and for all civilization, that it is perhaps hardly too much to say, with Ambassador Walter H. Page, in his address at the Pilgrims' Dinner in London, April 12, 1917: "We shall get out of this association an indissoluble companionship, and we shall henceforth have indissoluble mutual duties for mankind. I doubt if there could be another international event comparable in large value and in long consequences to this closer association." Mr. Balfour struck the same note when, during his mission to the United States, he expressed himself in these words: "That this great people should throw themselves whole-heartedly into this mighty struggle, prepared for all efforts and sacrifices that may be required to win success for this most righteous cause, is an event at once so happy and so momentous that only the historian of the future will be able, as I believe, to measure its true proportions."
The words of these eminent men ratify the spirit of those poems in the present volume that seek to interpret to Britons and Americans the values of a deepening friendship. "Poets," said Shelley, "are the unacknowledged legislators of the world," and he meant by legislation the guidance and determination of the verdicts of the human soul. In the collection as a whole, the receptive reader will find many suggestions, finely and sensitively expressed, touching the poetic truth (the "essential truth") of War, and the spiritual reciprocities that relate our personal lives to our national and international struggles.
G. H. C.
- Sir Henry Newbolt: A New Study of English Poetry (Constable).
- Carveth Read: The Function of Relations in Thought (The British Journal of Psychology, December, 1911).
Cf. the graphic story, The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, written before he had experienced war at first-hand.
- The Marquis of Crewe: War and English Poetry (The English Association).
- "Beauty to her, as to all who have felt, lies not in the thing but in what the thing symbolizes."—Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles.