The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Before Action

OVER the down the road goes winding,

A ribbon of white in the corn—

The green, young corn. O, the joy of binding

The sheaves some harvest morn!

But we are called to another reaping,

A harvest that will not wait.

The sheaves will be green. O, the world of weeping

Of those without the gate!

For the road we go they may not travel.

Nor share our harvesting;

But watch and weep. O, to unravel

The riddle of this thing!

Yet over the down the white road leading

Calls; and who lags behind?

Stout are our hearts; but O, the bleeding

Of hearts we may not bind!

SOMME, July, 1916.