The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Homeward

TO the old friends and faces,

To the old life again.

To often dreamed-of places,

Pleasant in sun or rain:

For home my face is set;

Home! Madly goes my heart

With calling up each minute

Those visions none forget,

All that the word has in it—

For each man things apart.

We watched our land go from us.

The sea stretched far, unknown;

To all it glowed with promise.

I watch the sea alone.

Some lie within its sound.

Scarce past its edge of foam,

Yet hear it surging never.

And some their grave have found

Far from the sea for ever,

The sea that takes us home.

I hear you, waves that glisten,

I see your path for me.

Maybe the dead can listen.

See more than I can see:

Not for the guns, their sound

Heard muffled through the loam.

Nor noise of sea or heavens.

Not see the trees around.

No! not the grass-roots even.

But sounds and sights of home.