The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

"I Have No Ring"

I watch and listen with a dreadful fear,

I wait and long and tremble in a breath;

Though he is gone to fight, yet is he near;

I have him always though he meet with Death:

In the lone night time when my eyes are dim

I cry with terror, yet my heart will sing;

I long, I long with sickness, yet with dread:

My fear is double -- more, far more, for him

Who not yet lives than him who may be dead:

I carry that which masters everything:

And yet -- to have his face and not his name,

To be so loved, so longed for, yet -- my shame!

Gladness and dread alike my love to sting....

I bear his burden -- but -- I have no ring.