The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

The Dream-path

WALKING my dream-paved road on the Hill of Desire

I saw beneath me the City of Quiet Delight;

The warming rays from each home-welcoming fire

Wove a pattern of gold on the velvet curtain of night.

The scent from the hill's rank grass put desire in my soul

To attain to the City below in the Valley of Hope,

But my grey path led beyond the horizon's roll.

Binding my feet in the web of a dream-made rope.

Reluctant, I followed the path, where I knew was Pain,

The distance glared with a furnace glow in the sky.

And the voice of the sea and the splashing of tropic rain

Were the hiss of the steam from untaught Machinery.

My dream-path led through the Furnace, and Pain, and Fire—

I could not stay nor turn from the road in flight—

But I knew it would lead me back past the Hill of Desire

To the warm hearth-stones in the City of Quiet Delight.