The Great War

from War, The Liberator and Other Pieces, an electronic edition

From Home


HERE there is peace and easy living,

And a warm fire when the rain is driving,

There is no sound of strong men striving,

Here where the quiet waters flow,

But I am hearing the bullets ringing,

Hearing the great shells onward winging,

The dead men's voices are singing, singing,

And I must rise and go.

Here there is ease and comfort for me,

A warm soft bed and a good roof o'er me

Here may be there is fame before me,

Honour and fame for all I know,

But I am seeing the thick rain falling,

Seeing the tired patrols out crawling,

The dead men's voices are calling, calling,

And I must rise and go.

Back to the trench that I see so clearly,

Back to the fight I can see so nearly,

Back to the friends that I love so dearly,

The dead men lying amid the dew,

The droning sound of the great shells flying,

Filth and honour, and pain, and dying--

Dead friends of mine, oh, cease your crying,

For I come back to you.