The Great War

from A Crown of Amaranth, an electronic edition

"The Exiles."

NOT the remembered scent of English air

In thawing fields, nor English melodies,

Nor song of English birds in English skies

Can make this England. All our house is bare;

Our lives are stopped; our hearts are other-where,

As homesick travellers whose impatient eyes

See only aliens: for all England lies

Where you have set your honour and her care.

The earshot of your bugle-calls at morn

Tells England's measure now; her history

Is in your undistinguished graves compressed

Your deeds are all her life, your sleep her rest

You are her only citizens, and we

Are exiles in the place where we were born.

(The British Review>, May, 1915