Page:A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919.djvu/394

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Where once the sound of mirth would rouse
The sleeping town,
The laughter has died out from house to house;
And where through open window late
At night would float delightful song,
And glad-souled music from the light-heart revel-throng,
In quadrangle and street the windows darkly wait
For those who cannot wake the sleeping town.

This city once a bride to all
Who entered here,
A lover magical who had in thrall
The souls of those who once might know
Her kiss upon their lips and brow—
A golden, laughter-hearted lover then, but now
A mother grey, whose sees Death darken as they go,
Son after son of those who entered there.

Yet sometimes at the dead of night
I see them come—
The darkness is suffused with a great light
From that radiant, countless host:
No face but is triumphant there,
A flaming crown of youth imperishable they wear.
A thousand years that passed have gained what we to-day have lost,
The splendour of their sacrifice for years to come.


O NOBLE youth that held our honour in keeping,
And bore it sacred through the battle flame,
How shall we give full measure of acclaim
To thy sharp labour, thy immortal reaping?
For though we sowed with doubtful hands, half sleeping,
Thou in thy vivid pride hast reaped a nation,
And brought it in with shouts and exultation,
With drums and trumpets, with flags flashing and leaping.