The Great War

from The Volunteer and Other Poems, an electronic edition

War's Cataract, 1915

In this red havoc of the patient earth,

Though higher yet the tide of battle rise,

Now has the hero cast away disguise,

And out of the ruin splendor comes to birth.

This is the field where Death and Honour meet,

And all the lesser company are low :

Pale Loveliness has left her mirror now,

And walks the Court of Pain with silent feet.

From cliff to cliff War's cataract goes down,

Hurling its booming waters to the shock,

And tossing high their manes of gleaming spray

The crested chargers leap from rock to rock,

While over all, dark though the thunder frown,

The rainbows climb above to meet the day.