The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Plymouth Sound

OBEDIENT to the echoed harbour gun

The homing traffic on the water's breast

Fold up their tawny wings and take their rest.

The pale-eyed stars already one by one

Steal softly forth to look upon the sun,

So proudly parting. While from island-nest,

Deep-shadowed cove, torn slope, or purple crest,

All things give praise to God in unison.

Then, brothers—for the time is very near

When I, the youngest floweret of the heath,

Will open in the gloomy courts of Fear,

Perchance to crown the pallid brow of Death—

Oh let me, clinging to the greensward here.

Drink in God's quietness with every breath.