The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

A Lament fron the Dead

PEACE! Vex us not: we are Dead,

We are the Dead for England slain.

(O England and the English Spring,

The English Spring, the Spring-tide rain:

Ah, God, dear God, in England now!)

Peace! Vex us not: we are the Dead;

The snows of Death are on our brow:

Peace! Vex us not!

Brothers, the footfalls of the year

(The Maiden month's in England now!)

I feel them pass above my head:

Alas, they echo on my heart!

(Ah, God, dear God, but England now!)

Peace! vex me not, for I am dead;

The snows of Death are on my brow:

Peace! Vex me not!

Brothers, and I—I taste again.

Again I taste the Wine of Spring.

(O Wine of Spring and Bread of Love,

O lips that kiss and mouths that sing:

O Love and Spring in England now!)

Peace! Vex me not, but pass above:

Sweet English Love, fleet English Spring-

Pass! Vex me not!

Brothers, my brothers, I pray you—hark!

I hear a song upon the wing.

Upon the silver wing of morn:

It is—dear God! it is the lark—

It is the lark above the corn.

The fledgling corn of England's Spring!

Ah! pity thou my wearied heart:

Cease! Vex me not!

Brothers, I beg you be at rest.

Be quite at rest for England's sake:

The flowerful hours in England now

Sing low your sleep to English ears:

And would ye have your sorrows wake

The Mother's heart to further tears?

Nay! be at peace, her loyal dead

Sleep! Vex her not!