The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Easter Day, 1917—The Eve of the Battle

I ROSE and watched the eternal giant of fire

Renew his struggle with the grey monk Dawn,

Slowly supreme, though broadening streaks of blood

Besmirch the threadbare cloak, and pour his flood.

Of life and strength on our yet sleeping choir.

As I went out to church on Easter morn.

Returning with the song of birds and men

Acclaiming victory of throbbing life,

I saw the fairies of the morning shower

Giving to drink each waking blade and flower,

I saw the new world take Communion then—

And now 'tis night and we return to strife.

Huts, France, April, 1917.