The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Plymouth Mists

TEAR-DIMMED eyes my loved one lifted.

When she said good-bye to me;

Sweet, grey eyes, where colours shifted

Like the shadows on the sea:

O'er the cliffs of Devon, keeping

Guard, like eyes, o'er Devon's mouth.

Sad, grey mists came stilly creeping.

Sorrow-laden, from the South.

Through the weary weight of sadness,

And the numbness of despair,

Came a thought that turned to gladness

Even the pain I could not bear:

Those proud cliffs were calling clearly,

As Drake heard them in his day:—

" England knows you love her dearly,

Weeps to send you far away"

'Neath this brazen, blazing lieaven,

In a wilderness of sand.

Daily England's lives are given

For her newest, oldest laud;

Does there come a dream, consoling

Those who die on foreign ground.

Of the sea-mists, slowly rolling

Homewards over Plymouth Sound?

Should I die, I'll see them drifting

Through the mirage, ere I go;

Maybe, if the mists are lifting,

I'll see sunshine on the Hoe!

Should I live, when this is over.

And we've done what is to do,

England, smile to greet your lover.

When he hurries home to you!

Basra, December, 1916.