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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