The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Desolation

OVER the bare, blank line of the ridge.

Over the stump of Sentinel Tree,

The moon slowly crosses the unseen bridge

That is set in the sky from the hills to the sea.

The sun's pale sister, moving yet dead.

The scars show dark on her weary face:

Is it strife of a million years that have bled

Her heart's life, and set Death's frosty sheen in

her place?

Is she watching our strife, the tired moon? Can she see

How the earth's face is scarred, her life ebbing fast?

And only the shorn stump of Sentinel Tree

Prays in silence, "How long will her agony last?"

Trenches, December, 1916.