Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - Tears

"Tears" by Osbert Sitwell 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 seventeen poems featured within the Moods and Memories section of the collection.

You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.

by Osbert Sitwell

Silence o'erwhelms the melody of Night,
Then slowly drips on to the woods that sigh
For their past vivid vernal ecstasy.
The branches and the leaves let in the light
In patterns, woven 'gainst the paler sky
- Create mysterious Gothic tracery,
Between those high dark pillars,- that affright
Poor weary mortals who are wand'ring by.

Silence drips on the woods like sad faint rain,
Making each frail tired sigh, a sob of pain
Each drop that falls, a hollow painted tear
Such as are shed by Pierrots, when they fear
Black clouds may crush their silver lord to death.
The world is waxen; and the wind's least breath
Would make a hurricane of sound. The earth
Smells of the hoarded sunlight that gave birth
To the gold-glowing radiance of that leaf,
Which falls to bury from our sight its grief.

A "salient" is a battle line that projects into territory nominally held by enemy forces.

- Did you know?