The Great War

from Herb o' Grace, an electronic edition

When You Come Home

All will be right when you come home, dear lad,

But oh, 'tis long of coming that you are!

Everything's wrong with all the world and sad;

There are so many hurt in this long war,

So many missing, who will never come,

Lying out in the rain and in the cold.

I shall forget it all when you come home,

I shall forget the lonesome things they told.

There's something, something sad, that troubles me.

Beats like the rain upon my frightened heart;

A tale about a girl, the thing might be,

Whispered in corners, secret and apart

How he was killed and how she never knew

Because God put a small cloud on her mind,

And how she waited the black winters through

And the wet summers; surely God was kind!

I took a daisy from the garden-bed

And plucked the petals, one by one, to tell

When I and my true lover should be wed,

This year: Next year: Never: the petals fell

And stopped at Never. But it could not guess,

The foolish daisy, what true love I had.

I turned from daisies and I plucked heartsease

To rest my heart on and be safe and glad.

Everything's wrong, Love, since you went away,

Such a queer world when all the boys are gone,

And there is no one left but old and grey,

Women and children, frightened and alone.

Sometimes the tale is crying at my heart

Of that poor girl. Maybe 'twas but a dream.

When you come home the shadows will depart,

The lonesome dreams die off in morning gleam.