Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - Domum
First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:
"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".
Below is one of eight poems featured within the School and College section of the collection.
You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.
by Charles Scott-Moncrieff
(St. Eloi, June 1915)
The green and grey and
purple day is barred with clouds of dun,
From Ypres city smouldering before the setting sun;
Another hour will see it flower, lamentable sight,
A bush of burning roses underneath the night.
Who's to fight for Flanders,
who will set them free,
The war-worn lowlands by the English sea?
Who, my young companions, will choose a way to war,
That Marlborough, Wellington, have trodden out before?
Are these mere names? Then
hear a solemn sound:
The blood of our brothers is crying from the ground:
"What we dared and died for, what the rest may do,
Little sons of Wykeham, is it naught to you?
"Father and Founder, our
feet may never more
Tread the stones of Flint-Court or Gunner's green shore,
But wherever they assemble, we are pressing near,
Calling and calling:- could our brothers hear!"
What was it you fought for,
whose profit that you died?
Here is Ypres burning and twenty towns beside,
Where is the gain in all our pain when he we loved but now
Is lying still on Sixty Hill, a bullet through his brow?
"He died one thing regarding
that is better worth
Than the golden cities of all the kings on earth.
Were right and wrong to choose among, he had seen the right,
Had found the thing appointed and done it with his might."
Thus I muse, regarding,
with a pensive eye,
Towered Ypres blazing, beneath the night sky...
This way may lie failure, but Towers there are that stand,
Hence, it may be, guarded, in our own green land.
'Whippet' was a term used to describe any light tank.
- Did you know?