Page:A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919.djvu/54

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(April, 1917)

IN the burgh toun of Arras,
When gloaming had come on,
Fifty pipers played Retreat
As if they had been one,
And the Grande Place of Arras
Hummed with the Highland drone!

Then to the ravaged burgh,
Champed into dust and sand,
Came with the pipers' playing,
Out of their own beloved land,
Sea-sounds that moan for sorrow
On a dispeopled strand.

There are in France no voices
To speak of simple things,
And tell how winds will whistle
Through palaces of kings;
Now came the truth to Arras
In the chanter's warblings:

"O build in pride your towers,
But think not they will last;