The Great War

from Herb o' Grace, an electronic edition

The Aerodrome

So now the aerodrome goes up

Upon my father's fields,

And gone is all the golden crop

And all the pleasant yields.

They tear the trees up, branch and root,

They kill the hedges green,

As though some force, malign and brute,

Ravaged the peace serene.

There where he used to sit and gaze

With blue and quiet eyes,

Watching his comely cattle graze,

The walls begin to rise.

What place for robin or for wren,

For thrush and blackbird's call?

Now there shall be but flying men

Nor any bird at all.

'Twas well he did not stay to know,

Defaced and all defiled

The quiet fields of long ago,

Dear to him as a child.

But when the tale was told to me

I felt such piercing pain,

They tore my heart up with the tree

That will not leaf again.