The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

And So Man Lives

AND so man lives

Between those shadowy gates

Where darkness covers up his memory,

And thought with thought forever separates

The disconnected things that he can see.

Those two strange steeps:

One whence he wakes.

And how he cannot tell;

One in which he falls

And knows not how he fell.

Where life with memory breaks.

Memory like water

Surging round our ears

Brings its echoes, softer

Than the sound of laughter—

Laughter of some strange forgotten years.

Someone gazing in a stream sees reflections hurry by;

Someone underneath a tree searching all its greenery;

Someone looking at a face holds a flying memory.

Broken images that pass

Through a twisted looking-glass;

Things we do and things we say

Ever fluttering away.

Disconnected things we see

In the brightness of the day

Just a flower growing there

In the happiness of air.

Tiny little birds that sing

In the melody of spring.

What we are and what we see

Are only shreds of memory.

Broken shreds and fragments pass

Through a twisted looking-glass.