The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

A Harrow Grave in Flanders

Here in the marshland, past the battered bridge,

One of a hundred grains untimely sown,

Here, with his comrades of the hard-won ridge

He rests, unknown.

His horoscope had seemed so plainly drawn,

School triumphs, earned apace in work and play;

Friendships at will; then love's delightful dawn

And mellowing day.

Home fostering hope; some service to the State;

Benignant age; then the long tryst to keep

Where in the yew-tree shadow congregate

His fathers sleep.

Was here the one thing needful to distil

From life's alembic, through this holier fate,

The man's essential soul, the hero-will?

We ask; and wait.