Riez Bailleul

Behind the line there mending reserve posts, looking
On the cabbage fields with other men carefully tending cooking;
Hearing the boiling; and being sick of body and heart,
Too sick for anything but hoping that all might depart —
We back in England again, and white roads to walk on,
Eastwards to hill-steeps, or see meadows good to go talk on.
Grey Flanders sky over all and a heaviness felt
On the sense that no working or dreaming would any way melt . . .
This is not happy thought, but a glimpse most strangely
Forced from the past, to hide this pain and work myself free
From present things. The parapet, the grey look-out, the making
Of a peasantry, by dread war, harried and set on shaking;
A hundred things of age, and of carefulness,
Spoiling; a farmer's treasure perhaps soon a wilderness.
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