The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Two Julys

I WAS so vague in 1914; tossed

Upon too many purposes, and worthless;

Moody; to this world or the other lost.

Essential nowhere; without calm and mirthless

And now I have gained one for many ends.

See my straight road stretch out so white, so slender.

That happy road, the road of all my friends.

Made glad with peace, and holy with surrender.

Proud, proud we fling to the winds of Time our token.

And in our need there wells in us the power,

Given England's swords to keep her honour clean.

Which they shall be which pierce, and which be broken.

We know not, but we know that every hour

We must shine brighter, take an edge more keen.

July, 1915.