More songs by the fighting men. Soldiers poets: second series

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For works with similar titles, see Soldier Poets.

MORE SONGS BY THE
FIGHTING MEN

SOLDIER POETS: SECOND SERIES

 

LONDON

ERSKINE MACDONALD, LTD.


All Rights Reserved.
Copyright in the United States of America by Erskine Macdonald, Ltd.
First Published December, 1917.


Preface

 

AN Introduction to this second series of "Soldier Poets" is superfluous. What was said by way of Foreword to the original volume is equally true of its successor. There is the less need for repetition because that original Introduction and the poems that followed have been the text of many articles, sermons, and speeches, including an address by the President of the Board of Education, who allows us to paraphrase his remarks on the characteristic features, already noted, of the remarkable outburst of lyrical poetry from the seat of war. The poems are remarkedly individual, he pointed out: they are entirely free from hate and execration. There is no reviling of the enemy. Our young soldiers look to poetry as a deliverance from the grim necessities of the hour rather than as a means of expressing martial emotion. They do not gush concerning patriotism, but they feel it none the less, and express it soberly, seriously, and with intense conviction.

The same characteristics, the same yearning over the beloved country left behind and of tender feeling for parents and home, are found in all the poems that have come to us from men in the fighting forces since the former volume was collected. And here we may repeat, that while these volumes are typical of the lyrical efflorescence of the fighting men, they do not pretend to be exhaustive: the larger task of sifting already published work and compiling a more complete anthology has been undertaken by a devoted advocate of the significance of the soldier poets' work and its claim to recognition.

We builded better than we knew when we issued the original volume as the climax of our proud association with the soldier poets: it was a greater thing than we were then aware of. No literary work of our day has possessed so much genetic force or been of greater influence. It was well said that "Soldier Poets" was of greater service to the Allied cause in America than many Blue Books and specially prepared statements: it showed the high clean spirit of ardent, generous youth engaged on a new Crusade. These songs before sunrise gave fresh vitality to poetry and were welcomed by a nation on the eve of rebirth as the promise of a greater intensity of living, a finer perception of beauty, a clearer vision of the undying splendour after the weary days in which life and art had become dreary and meaningless to the multitude. Now the birth-throes have become more severe, the spiritual quickening more accentuated, more and more of the poems are personal threnodies, and the sentinel graves of the Poetry Review young men who responded to the call in 1914 now consecrate the long line from Nieuport to Basra. They are a more glorious and more numerous company than the Elizabethans, with whom, in the great comradeship beyond the grave, they still march, an invisible army, with their brothers-in-arms who continue the material and spiritual warfare here in the flesh, inspiring and directing the fight that will not end with the war.

Galloway Kyle.

"The Poetry Review,"
London, W.C.
All Saints' Day, 1917.


Contents

 
Eric De Banzie, Sapper, R.E. PAGE
The Gift 5
 
Paul Bewsher, Sub.-Lieut., R.N.A.S.
The Dawn Patrol 16
 
Collin Brooks, Sergeant, M.G.C.
To Another Poor Poet 18
 
Carroll Carstairs, Lieut., Grenadier Guards
Death in France 19
The Lover's Mood 20
Life and Death 20
 
Ernest K. Challenger, Corporal, R.E.
The Harvest 21
 
Eric Chilman, Private, East Yorks
After-days 27
 
A. Newberry Choyce, Lieut., Leicestershire Regiment
Supermen 28
Reincarnation 29
Loss 31
 
Reginald F. Clements, Sec. Lieut., Royal Sussex Regiment
Immortality 33
Finis Coronat Opus 34
 
Leonard Niell Cook, M.C., Sec. Lieut., Royal Lancs
Plymouth Sound 35
 
Gerald M. Cooper, Sec. Lieut., Scots Guards
Sonnets 36
 
Leslie Coulson, Sergeant, London Regiment
"—But a Short Time to Live" 38
From the Somme 39
The Secret 40
 
S. Donald Cox, Private, Rifle Brigade
The Wind in the Trees 41
On a Girl killed by German Shrapnel 42
Life 43
 
John Eugene Crombie, Captain, Gordon Highlanders
The Dream-path 44
The Pedlar 45
The Gate 46
Desolation 47
The Mist 48
The Shrine 49
Easter Day, 1917—The Eve of the Battle 50
 
Geoffrey H. Crump, Major, Essex Regiment
God 51
Sunset 52
Off St. Helena 53
Plymouth Mists 54
 
R. C. G. Dartford, Captain, attached to Portuguese Expeditionary Force
A Soldier's Question: Spring, 1917 56
War-time Consolation 57
Welcome Death 57
 
Clifford J. Druce, Sec. Lieut., Gloucester Regiment
Forecast 58
To a Grave of the Glosters 59
Spying in Picardy 61
 
H. S. Graham, Captain, R.E.T.
The Seers 62
The Field of Blood 63
 
Wilfrid J. Halliday, Sec. Lieut., West Yorks
"An Unknown British Soldier" 64
 
Malcolm Hemphrey, Corporal, A.O.C.
The New Year 66
 
Brian Hill, Sec. Lieut., Durham Light Infantry
Salonika in November 68
 
Martin Hill, Corporal, R.A.M.C.
On Seeing the Coast of England from Boulogne 70
Requiescat 71
 
Harold John Jarvis, Corporal, The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori 73
At a Wayside Shrine 77
 
D. T. Jones, Sec. Lieut., M.G.C.
Flint 80
To a Warship 80
 
R. Watson Kerr, Sec. Lieut., Tank Corps
Sounds by Night 81
Rain 82
The Ancient Thought 83
At the Base 83
In Bitterness 84
 
Dudley H. Harris, Cadet, Tank Corps
Left Alone 84
 
Frank C. Lewis, Flight Sub.-Lieut., R.N.A.S.
Belgium, 1914 86
Ad Profunda 88
The Downs, looking from Savernake Forest 89
 
P. H. B. Lyon, Lieut., Durham Light Infantry
Requiem 91
The Lay of the Bombardier 93
 
Ian H. T. Mackenzie, Sec. Lieut., Highland Light Infantry
Desire 95
And So Man Lives 96
 
Charles John Beech Masefield, M.C., Acting Captain, 5th North Staffs
Enlisted, or The Recruits 99
Sailing for Flanders 100
Two Julys 102
In Honorem Fortium 103
 
John Mason, Captain, Royal Scots
My Country 105
 
Harley Matthews, Private, A.I.F.
Homeward 107
 
Murray McClymont, Sec. Lieut., 2/10th (Scottish) K.L.R.
God's Acre 109
Hills of Home 110
To a Fallen Comrade 111
 
Rudolph Louis Nègros, Lance-Corporal, West Yorks
Con Amore 113
 
Armel O'Connor, Private, East Anglian Field Ambulance
Violet 120
 
David Cox McEwen Osborne, Lance-Corporal, 1st Middlesex
May-Day 122
Private Claye 123
 
J. Peterson, Private, Seaforth Highlanders
Peace 124
Arras 125
 
"Richard Raleigh," Sec. Lieut., O. and B.L.I.
A Soldier's Litany 127
 
K. M. Scobie, Sec. Lieut., R.G.A.
Lunae 129
 
R. Howard Spring, Corporal, A.S.C.
Hic Jacet 131
Sonnet 132
At Sunset: September, 1917 132
The Bells 133
 
J. E. Stewart, M.C., Captain, Border Regiment
Before Action 136
Renascence 137
Courage 138
 
Eric Fitzwalter Wilkinson, M.C., Captain, West Yorks
To a Choir of Birds 139
 
Walter Lightowler Wilkinson, Lieut., 8th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
A Lament from the Dead 140
The Wayside Burial 142
At Last Post 143
Night in War Time 144