The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

A Ride in France

TROTTING the roan horse

Over the meadows,

Purple of thistles,

Purple of clover;

Over the clay-brown path,

All through the grass-lands,

Glory of meadow flowers,

Over! Come over!

On to the highway winding o'er the hill,

White willow-bordered, grassy--banked;

On through a village ruined and broken.

Grass grows in the rubble-heaps,

Poppies fill the courtyards,

Swallows build in broken walls,

And everything is still.

While at the corner-walk, O horse of mine,

A Christ hangs from a crucifix beside a broken shrine.

On to the path at the side of the white road,

Cantering, galloping, breasting the rise;

Any road, every road, each is the right road,

Facing the east, the sun in my eyes.

Trotting the roan horse

Over the meadows,

Purple of thistles,

Purple of clover;

Over the clay--brown path,

Back through the grass--lands,

All through the meadow flowers;

Over! Come over!