The Great War

from War Daubs: Poems, an electronic edition

Music in a Dug Out

THE hour is drowsed with things of sleep

That round my tottering senses creep

Like subtle wandering scents, so rare

They might ensweeten fairies' hair;

And I am walking in a glade

With gold and green and purple made

Unearthly beautiful:

And, oh, the air is very cool!

I see green lawns between the trees,

And cows and sheep upon the leas,

And, in the distance, hills;

And at my feet cool, mossy rills

Empurpled with the wavering shade

Of trees and bushes in the glade ;

And ever I rejoice

And ever sings a voice.

I see--but, sudden the singing ceases,

Splintering my dream in pieces--

I see, in waving candle light

That cowers and flickers in a draft,

A low-roofed den--a hole of night--

That leaks to heaven by creaky shaft;

A table (where the candle stands

In bottle streaked with frozen strands

Of tallow drippings), strewn with tins

And cans, just tiny refuse bins

With smelling slops of tea and jam

And twisted greasy bits of ham ;

And belts hung round the dingy walls

Like horses' harness in their stalls ;

And in the corner gloom, alone--

A dusty, silent gramophone !