The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Hills of Home

TO gloam-blue hills that shadow moorland spaces,

To legend-haunted vales where all is still.

To that grey land where slumber martyred races.

My spirit flees at will.

I hear from far away the whaup's wild crying

Low o'er the moor and wind-swept fringe of sea.

And longing fills my breast and I am sighing—

Sighing for love of thee.

I see, as in a spell, the bracken flowing

Like silver streams beneath a battered moon;

I see the heather darker, redder blowing—

Flushing to crimson soon!

In dreams I 1-oam the long-forsaken places,

In scented wood, by rill and grassy howe;

And, smiling, greet the old familiar faces—

And I am happy now!

Dear Hills of Home, I ask but this of Heaven

(If thou my captive spirit wilt not free!)

I'hat in my dying moments I be given

One last, fond kiss from thee.

1916.