The Great War

from A Calendar of Verse, an electronic edition

The Dead

I feared the lonely dead, so old were they, --

Decrepit, tired beings, ghastly white,

With withered breasts and eyes devoid of sight,

Forever mute beneath the sodden clay;

I feared the lonely dead, and turned away

From thoughts of sombre death and endless night;

Thus, through the dismal hours I longed for light

To drive my utter hopelessness away.

But now my nights are filled with flowered dreams

Of singing warriors, beautiful and young;

Strong men and boys within whose eyes there gleams

The triumph song of worlds unknown, unsung;

Grim death has vanished, leaving in its stead

The shining glory of the living dead.