The Great War

from War Daubs: Poems, an electronic edition

Sounds By Night

I hear the dull, low thunder of the guns

Beyond the hills that doze uneasily,

A sullen doomful growl that ever runs

From end to end of the heavy freighted sky ;

A friend of mine writes, squatted on the floor,

And scrapes by yellow spluttering candle light.

" Ah ! hush ! " he breathes, and gazes at the door

That creeks on rusty hinge, in pale affright.

(No words spoke he, nor I, for well we knew

What rueful things these sounds did tell.)

A pause--I hear the trees sway sighing thro'

The gloom, like dismal moan of hollow knell,

Then out across the dark, and startling me

Bursts forth a laugh, a shout of drunken glee!