The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

The Sign

We are here in a wood of little beeches:

And the leaves are like black lace

Against a sky of nacre.

One bough of clear promise

Across the moon.

It is in this wise that God speaketh unto me.

He layeth hands of healing upon my flesh,

Stilling it in an eternal peace,

Until my soul reaches out myriad and infinite hands

Toward him,

And is eased of its hunger.

And I know that this passes:

This implacable fury and torment of men,

As a thing insensate and vain:

And the stillness hath said unto me,

Over the tumult of sounds and shaken flame,

Out of the terrible beauty of wrath,

I alone am eternal.

One bough of clear promise

Across the moon.