The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

A Soldier's Question: Spring, 1917

A Soldier's Question: Spring, 1917

CURSE I the Spring that God has sent

Raising such discord in my soul?

'Twas fitter when the winter's blast

Could lash my spirit to the mast

And send me drugged by brute control

To battle with a grim content!

Then Death took hold on the neck of Life

And Earth's rough scalp lay touzled and scarred.

And the winter-scream swept round me fierce—

The softer visions to disperse—

While stripped by storms I stood on guard

Cleaving the wind with keener knife.

But now with Spring to dream or grieve

I am tempted, and the blushful day

Reveals her old-time beauty, far

From mating with the ghost of War.

Am I then laggard if I pray

From this soul's scaffold quick reprieve?