This poem was first published in Selected Poems (1925).
When the battle-cloud is lifting,
And the loud guns cease to roar,
And the stately ship goes drifting
Back unto her native shore,
Many a weary heart will sorrow, sifting
Thoughts of the noble dead that come not evermore.

When, amid the desolation
Of the thunder-riven plain,
Cities ring with exultation
At the end of blood and pain,
Nought can bring the happy consolation
To those whose hopes are shattered and whose tears are vain.

Till the stars' gold light is failing
In the memory-haunted room,
And the purple east is paling,
Cometh ever through the gloom
A sound as of a low wind sadly wailing -
The loved one's lonely spirit prisoned in the tomb.

Poems index

Alphabetical list of poems online