Page:A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919.djvu/392

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Do the old tales, half-remembered, come back to haunt him now
Who leaving his glad school-days and putting boyhood by
Joined England's bitter Iliad? Greek beauty on the brow
That frowns with dying wonder up to Hissarlik's sky!


I FEARED the lonely dead, so old were they,
Decrepit, tired beings, ghastly white,
With withered breasts and eyes devoid of sight,
Forever mute beneath the sodden clay;
I feared the lonely dead, and turned away
From thoughts of sombre death and endless night;
Thus, through the dismal hours I longed for light
To drive my utter hopelessness away.

But now my nights are filled with flowered dreams
Of singing warriors, beautiful and young;
Strong men and boys within whose eyes there gleams
The triumph song of worlds unknown, unsung;
Grim death has vanished, leaving in its stead
The shining glory of the living dead.


OUT of the flame-scarred night one came to me
And whispered, "He is dead." . . . But I, who find
Thy resurrection in each noble mind,
Thy soul in every deed of chivalry,
I can but think, while lives nobility,
While honour lights a path for humankind,
While aught is beautiful, or aught enshrined,
Death hath o'ertaken but not conquered thee.