Two Sons

I HAVE two sons, wife—
Two, and yet the same;
One his wild way runs, wife,
Bringing us to shame.
The one is bearded, sunburnt, grim, and fights across the sea,
The other is a little child who sits upon your knee.

One is fierce and cold, wife,
As the wayward deep;
Him no arms could hold, wife,
Him no breast could keep.
He has tried our hearts for many a year, not broken them; for he
Is still the sinless little one that sits upon your knee.

Two Songs From a Play

I

I saw a staring virgin stand
Where holy Dionysus died,
And tear the heart out of his side.
And lay the heart upon her hand
And bear that beating heart away;
Of Magnus Annus at the spring,
As though God's death were but a play.

Another Troy must rise and set,
Another lineage feed the crow,
Another Argo's painted prow
Drive to a flashier bauble yet.
The Roman Empire stood appalled:
It dropped the reins of peace and war
When that fierce virgin and her Star
Out of the fabulous darkness called.

Twelve Months After

Hullo! here’s my platoon, the lot I had last year.
‘The war’ll be over soon.’
‘What ’opes?’
‘No bloody fear!’
Then, ‘Number Seven, ’shun! All present and correct.’
They’re standing in the sun, impassive and erect.
Young Gibson with his grin; and Morgan, tired and white;
Jordan, who’s out to win a D.C.M. some night;
And Hughes that’s keen on wiring; and Davies (’79),
Who always must be firing at the Boche front line.

To Willie and Henrietta

If two may read aright
These rhymes of old delight
And house and garden play,
You too, my cousins, and you only, may.

You in a garden green
With me were king and queen,
Were hunter, soldier, tar,
And all the thousand things that children are.

Now in the elders' seat
We rest with quiet feet,
And from the window-bay
We watch the children, our successors, play.

To the Unknown Warrior

You whom the kings saluted; who refused not
The one great pleasure of ignoble days,
Fame without name and glory without gossip,
Whom no biographer befouls with praise.

Who said of you "Defeated"? In the darkness
The dug-out where the limelight never comes,
Nor the big drum of Barnum's show can shatter
That vibrant stillness after all the drums.

To The Genius Of Mr. John Hall. On His Exact Translation Of

Tis not from cheap thanks thinly to repay
Th' immortal grove of thy fair-order'd bay
Thou planted'st round my humble fane, that I
Stick on thy hearse this sprig of Elegie:
Nor that your soul so fast was link'd in me,
That now I've both, since't has forsaken thee:
That thus I stand a Swisse before thy gate,
And dare, for such another, time and fate.
Alas! our faiths made different essays,
Our Minds and Merits brake two several ways;
Justice commands I wake thy learned dust,
And truth, in whom all causes center must.

Yeats Died Saturday In France

Yeats died Saturday in France.
Freedom from his animal
Has come at last in alien Nice,
His heart beat separate from his will:
He knows at last the old abyss
Which always faced his staring face.

No ability, no dignity
Can fail him now who trained so long
For the outrage of eternity,
Teaching his heart to beat a song
In which man's strict humanity,
Erect as a soldier, became a tongue.

Yankee Doodle

This poem is intended as a description of a sort of Blashfield mural painting on the sky. To be sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle, yet in a slower, more orotund fashion. It is presumably an exercise for an entertainment on the evening of Washington's Birthday.

Yad Mordechai

Yad Mordechai. Those who fell here
still look out the windows like sick children
who are not allowed outside to play.
And on the hillside, the battle is reenacted
for the benefit of hikers and tourists. Soldiers of thin sheet iron
rise and fall and rise again. Sheet iron dead and a sheet iron life
and the voices all—sheet iron. And the resurrection of the dead,
sheet iron that clangs and clangs.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - soldier