The Great War

from Poems, an electronic edition

Playmates

It's sixty years ago, the people say:

Two village children, neighbours born and bred,

One morning played beneath a rotten tree

That came down crash and caught them as they fled;

And one was killed and one was left unhurt

Except for certain fancies in his head.

And though it's all so very long ago

He's never left the wood a single day;

I've often met him peeping through the leaves

And chuckling to himself, an old man grey;

And once he started in his cracked old voice:

"We're playing I'm a merchant lost his way,

She's robbers in the wood behind yon tree,

The minute we grow up too big to play"------