More songs by the fighting men. Soldiers poets: second series/S. Donald Cox

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Private, Rifle Brigade, B.E.F., France

The Wind in the Trees

WIND! Wind! what do you bring
With the whirling flake and the flying cloud?
A victor's bays and a song to sing?
—Nay, but a hero's shroud!

Wild wind! what do you bear—
A song of the men who fought and fell,
A tale of the strong to do and dare?
—Aye, and a tolling bell!

Wind! wind! what do you see—
The flying flags and the soldiers brave,
The marching men, the bold and free?
—Nay, but a new-dug grave!

Wild wind! what do you moan
To the frosty night and the cloud-wracked sky?
—A soldier's cross, a father's groan,
And a mother's hopeless cry!

On a Girl killed by German Shrapnel

IT is not much: one child the less to sing
Her passage through the hours;
One girl the less to greet the coming spring,
And pluck the summer's flow'rs.

It is not much: one little coffin made
And one more little shroud.
One hush the more within the room's dark shade,
One less word said aloud.

It is not much: one prayer the less to God,
From Whom all prayers have birth,
One scar the more across the fresh green sod,
One shovel more of earth.

It is not much: yet could it have been more?
God thinks the same of such,
As of the proudest hero killed in war:—
Who says it is not much?

France, July, 1917.


LILT of a child's gay laughter,
Cry of a soul in pain,
Sunshine awhile, and after

Day and the zest of living,
Dusk and the dark's release;
After the hour of striving

After the conflict's flurry,
Silence serene and deep;
After the stress and hurry