Page:A treasury of war poetry, British and American poems of the world war, 1914-1919.djvu/90

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.



IN winds that leave man's spirit cold,
And a great darkness overhead,
They stood—bloodstained with ghostly red.
Too young, too many far, they seemed,
To be so soon, so grimly, dead,—
Night more than mortal night, to hold
All they had dreamed. . . .
They were so many; and so young, they seemed.

"Halt! Who goes there?"
The red ghosts on their beat of air
Night-answered were: the word was, "Friend!"
And as before their life had end,
The sentinels who erstwhile halted Death,
And died for it, a host of young men slain,
In their red harness stood on guard again
And shouted with recovered lease of breath—
So that, and even as a thing surprised,
The dread winds failed, to silence fell—
"Advance, friend, and be recognized!"
"Pass, friend!" and yet again, "All's well!"
Then as men turning restwards out of pain,
"Pass, friend!" and now more faintly still, "All's well!"


WHATEVER penman wrote or orator
Declaimed, I could not, for the soul of me,
Deem that the West had lost of liberty
All but the name, and feared the sounds of War:
Of them and theirs I was not ignorant, nor
Had failed to learn what impulse set them free
When alien kings held England's realm in fee,
And what, in conquering, they had battled for.