Thursday 11 February 2016

St. Valentine's Day, 1915

A Missive from the Front.

Ere the first grey dawn has banished
    Restless night and her alarms,
When the sleeper's snores have vanished
    On the order “Stand to arms!”
When the sky is bleak and dreary
    And the rain is chill and thin,
Be I ne’er so damp and weary,
    Yet my thoughts on You I pin.

When the bullets fly unheeded
    O’er the meagre parapet.
As I pace my ditch impeded
    By the squelching mud and wet;
When I eat my Army ration
    With my fingers caked in clay—
You can stake your total cash on
    Me remembering You this day.

Though the glittering knight whose charger
    Bore him on his lady’s quest
With an infinitely larger
    Share of warfare’s pomp was blest,
Yet he offered love no higher,
    No more difficult to quench,
Than this filthy occupier
    Of an unromantic trench.

Poem from Punch, 10th February 1915.

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