The Great War

from The Man Who Saw, an electronic edition


NOW doth the Year, with gorgeous ritual, don

Raiment of priesthood, cope o'erlaid with gold,

But soon, from autumn's purfled scarf unstoled,

The grey cowl of November must put on ;

And shaking the thinned locks that shall anon

Cumber his ways, he hears around him rolled

A nation's knell for Youth and Valour tolled,

Heroic Youth and knightly Valour, gone

Where, after clangorous day, is evenfall;

Love's requiescat after battle's throes;

After the cannonade and bugle call,

Earth's whispered leave, in pace to repose;

Lull after hurricane ; and crowning all,

Glory's white lily after war's red rose.