The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

By the North Sea

Death and Sorrow and Sleep:

Here where the slow waves creep,

This is the chant I hear,

The chant of the measureless deep.

What was Sorrow to me

Then, when the young life free

Thirsted for joys of earth,

Far from the desolate sea?

What was Sleep but a rest,

Giving to youth the best

Dreams from the ivory gate,

Visions of God manifest?

What was death but a tale

Told to faces grown pale,

Worn or wasted with years --

A meaningless thing to the hale?

Death and Sorrow and Sleep:

Now their sad message I keep,

Tossed on the wet wind's breath,

The chant of the measureless deep.