The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

The Mist

ALWAYS the rolling mist,

Wrapping the scene in wet and fleecy fold.

Moved as a curtain by the sluggish wind,

Lifting and swaying, falling damp and cold.

It sweeps, yet passes never, soft and blind.

Have sunbeams never kissed

These dreary hills and life-forsaken slopes—

Hidden like women's shoulders in a gown

That mars their beauty? Only shattered hopes

And ghostly fears people the shadowed down.

These sunless wreaths are curling round my heart:

The deadening fingers of the passing years

Are closing, and I cannot thrust apart

Their tightening grip. No ray of sun appears.

Only the rolling mist.

Huts, France, December, 1916.