"I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.
In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.
* * * * *
You snug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go."
(S.L. Sassoon in Suicide in the trenches)
"I dug a grave under an oak-tree.
With infinite care, I stamped my spade
Into the heavy grass.
The sod sucked it,
And I drew it out with effort,
Watching the steel run liquid in the moonlight
As it came clear.
I stooped, and dug, and never turned,
For behind me,
On the dried leaves,
My own face lay like a white pebble,
(Amy Lowell in Pictures from the floating world)
“Blue bird, true bird,
Tell them my heart is fain
To cross the plain and the mountain,
And live in their heart again!
But I am a slave in a far-off land,
And I long, I long in vain!”
(E. Nesbit in Slave song)
"They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate:
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate."
(E. Dowson in Vitae summa brevis ...)
"When you are in your grave,
the flowers blowing
shall hang their heads
and sicken in their grove.
Beauty will fade
and wither at your going,
oh my own love,
oh my own love."
(M. Kennedy title unknown)