The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

In War-Time

(An American Homeward-Bound)

Further and further we leave the scene

Of war -- and of England's care;

I try to keep my mind serene --

But my heart stays there;

For a distant song of pain and wrong

My spirit doth deep confuse,

And I sit all day on the deck, and long --

And long for news!

I seem to see them in battle-line --

Heroes with hearts of gold,

But of their victory a sign

The Fates withhold;

And the hours too tardy-footed pass,

The voiceless hush grows dense

'Mid the imaginings, alas!

That feed suspense.

Oh, might I lie on the wind, or fly

In the wilful sea-bird's track,

Would I hurry on, with a homesick cry --

Or hasten back?