The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

After-days

WHEN the last gun has long withheld

Its thunder, and its mouth is sealed.

Strong men shall drive the furrow straight

On some remembered battlefield.

Untroubled they shall hear the loud

And gusty driving of the rains,

And birds with immemorial voice

Sing as of old in leafy lanes.

The stricken, tainted soil shall be

Again a flowery paradise—

Pure with the memory of the dead

And purer for their sacrifice.