Page:In Flanders Fields and Other Poems.djvu/73

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In Flanders Fields

judices, that certain words make him sick; that certain other words he reserves for his own use,—"meticulous" once a year, "adscititious" once in a life time. This explains why editors write so little. In the end, out of mere good nature, or seeing the futility of it all, they contribute their words to contributors and write no more.

The volume of verse as here printed is small. The volume might be enlarged; it would not be improved. To estimate the value and institute a comparison of those herein set forth would be a congenial but useless task, which may well be left to those whose profession it is to offer instruction to the young. To say that "In Flanders Fields" is not the best would involve one in controversy. It did give expression to a mood which at the time was universal, and will remain as a permanent record when the mood is passed away.

The poem was first called to my attention by a Sapper officer, then Major, now Brigadier. He brought the paper in his hand from his billet in Dranoutre. It was printed on page 468, and Mr. 'Punch' will be glad to be told that, in his annual index, in the issue of December 29th, 1915, he has misspelled the author's name, which is perhaps the only mistake he ever made. This officer could himself weave the sonnet with