The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition


THERE is a stirring in the woods

Has not been heard these many Springs,

A pulsing eagerness as broods

The dawn about awaking things.

And signs are on the little hills

That take the sun while yet on high

The mighty peaks, whose grandeur fills

The noon, are muffled in the sky.

There is a murmur 'neath the noise

Of cities and the common crowd.

As though some elfin under-voice

Sang thro' the buzz and discord loud;

And songs above the red alarms

Of bitter War rise clear and free.

As in the cruel shock of arms

Trembled a sweet expectancy.

Once, in the days of barren Art,

When ebbed the tioe of Beauty's pow'r.

Nature bestirred a poet's heart

To give the world a passioned hour;

And such an hou; is trembling sure

O'er this our weary day and long,

To bring our sicken'd souls a cure

With a new ministry of Song.

Flanders, 1917.