Thursday 4 June 2015

May 1915 In the Trenches

[Some time since, in the trenches, amid the roar of the fearful fighting, the men
were amazed and cheered by hearing the outburst of the singing of the larks.]

Amid the thunder and the fire,
     Amid the roar and flash and flame,
Above it all, yea, nobly higher,
     The lark's fine anthem came.

Oh, how the ears of weary men
     Hailed gladly that sweet, cheering song,
So often heard by height and glen,
     Their own home-scenes among!

And home and loved ones drew so near,
     So well beloved, men, seemed again
Upon the British soil, to hear
     The glad, familiar strain!

There was the cottage where they played
     In childhood; there showed many a face
Beloved so well, in joy arrayed
     With the love-lighted grace!

Above the horrors of the war
     Prevails the carol of the bird;
Above the darkness shines the star,
     And the peace-song is heard.

Yes, ever in man's toil and strife,
     And in life's battles fiercely keen,
The still, small voice, with comfort rife,
     Comes all our ills between.

For many waters cannot drown
     The love of God, the peace of Heaven;
The music of Christ's love will crown
     Thunders that air have riven.

R. W. R. Rentoul

Poem: The Witness, 4th June 1915
Image: WW1 drawing by Bill Lewis.

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