The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

Optimism

At last there'll dawn the last of the long year,

Of the long year that seemed to dream no end,

Whose every dawn but turned the world more drear,

And slew some hope, or led away some friend.

Or be you dark, or buffeting, or blind,

We care not, day, but leave not death behind.

The hours that feed on war go heavy-hearted,

Death is no fare wherewith to make hearts fain.

Oh, we are sick to find that they who started

With glamour in their eyes came not again.

O day, be long and heavy if you will,

But on our hopes set not a bitter heel.

For tiny hopes like tiny flowers of Spring

Will come, though death and ruin hold the land,

Though storms may roar they may not break the wing

Of the earthed lark whose song is ever bland.

Fell year unpitiful, slow days of scorn,

Your kind shall die, and sweeter days be born.