The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

Marching on Tanga

Marching on Tanga, marching the parched plain

Of wavering spear-grass by Pangani river,

England came to me -- me who had always ta'en

But never given before -- England, the giver,

In a vision of tall poplar trees that shiver

On still evenings of summer, after rain,

By Slapton Ley, where reed-beds start and quiver

When scarce a ripple moves the upland grain.

Then I thanked God that now I had suffered pain

And, as the parched plain, thirst, and lain awake

Shivering all night through till cold daybreak:

In that I count these sufferings my gain

And her acknowledgment. Nay, more, would fain

Suffer as many more for her sweet sake.