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Snow In France

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THE tattered grass of No Man's Land
  Is white with snow to-day,
And up and down the deadly slopes
  The ghosts of childhood play.

The sentries, peering from the line,
  See in the tumbled snow
Light forms that were their little selves
  A score of years ago.

We look and see the crumpled drifts
  Piled in a little glen.
And you are back in Saxony
  And children once again.

From joyous hand to laughing face
  We watch the snow-balls fly.
The way they used ere we were men
  Waiting our turn to die.

To-night across the empty slopes
  The shells will scream once more,
And flares go up and bullets fly
  The way they did before ;

But for a little space of peace
  We watch them come and go.
The children that were you and I
  At play among the snow.

Bois d'Authuille, 1915