The Great War

from The Volunteer and Other Poems, an electronic edition

Soldiers at Peace

Mourn not for these, the children of the spring :

On Flemish plains and far Aegean sand,

Mourn not for these, who had no perishing !

Hang high their swords in churches greatly spanned !

Whose deeds have spoken so, beyond our tears,

Their spirits live, needing no other voice

Above the dimming valley of the years

They live anew, immortal by their choice.

The soldiers' peace of their imagining

has fallen here. The whirling leaves are still:

Deep in the shadow of the rainwashed hill,

A lustre and a quietude art shed,

When all the valley streams are glimmering,

And the moon swims from the storm-wrack overhead.