The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

There Are Crocuses at Nottingham

OUT here the dogs of war run loose,

Their whipper--in is Death

Across the spoilt and battered fields

We hear their sobbing breath.

The fields where grew the living corn

Are heavy with our dead;

Yet still the fields at home are green

And I have heard it said:


There are crocuses at Nottingham!

Wild crocuses at Nottingham!

Blue crocuses at Nottingham!

Though here the grass is red.

There are little girls at Nottingham

Who do not dread the boche,

Young girls at school at Nottingham

(Lord! how I need a wash!)

There are little boys at Nottingham

Who never hear a gun;

There are silly fools at Nottingham

Who think we're here for fun.


There are crocuses at Nottingham!

Young crocus buds at Nottingham!

Thousands of buds at Nottingham

Ungathered by the Hun.

But here we trample down the grass

Into a purple slime;

There lives no tree to give the birds

House room in paring time.

We live in holes, like cellar rats,

But through the noise and smell

I often see those crocuses

Of which the people tell.


There are crocuses at Nottingham!

Bright crocuses at Nottingham!

Real crocuses at Nottingham!

Because we're here in Hell.