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> War Poems, The war seen from a poet's eyes.
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Camac
Posted: 15-Jan-2009, 11:28 AM
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When you are standing at your Hero's grave,
Or near some homeless village where he died,
Remember, through your heart's rekindling pride,
The German soldiers who were loyal and brave.

Men fought like brutes; and hideous things were done;
And you have nourished hatred harsh and blind.
But in that Golgotha perhaps you'll find
The mothers of the men who killed your son.

Reconciliation
Siegfried Sassoon 1918
               
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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 15-Jan-2009, 05:36 PM
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Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem with us.

tallerlacuba


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Recte Faciendo Neminem Timeas
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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 15-Jan-2009, 05:37 PM
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What Time the Bugle Blew


From kauri-clad Wairoa
Rich in her tropic charms, -
Otago's rugged stations, -
And Canterbury's farms;
From where the West Coast miners
Toil for the coal and gold -
From boiling Rotorua -
From Southern Ranges cold -
From hill and bay and headland,
In all the country through -
They rallied to the Red Cross
What time the bugle blew.

Yes! 'Twas the bugle blew!
The Empire's summons flew;
The Long White Cloud re-echoed loud,
What time the bugle blew!


On Afric's rock-strewn sand-wastes -
On kopje, spruit and veldt,
The burning day, the chilling night,
Hunger and thirst they felt.
The hard and constant duty -
The skirmish or attack -
The hillside bare, the scanty fare -
The lonely bivouac;
Ten months of stern warfare,
Nor rest, nor pause, they knew -
But they were there when wanted
What time the bugle blew.


Yes - when the bugle blew
Weary and worn and few,
They did what they were asked to do
Whene'er the bugle blew


They fought `neath famous leaders,
Alongside comrades bold,
Whose names ring out like clarions
Where'er war's tale is told.
Their foe was brave and stubborn,
Who mostly smote unseen -
Fever and ball drank up their blood,
Their baptism was keen.
Did they disgrace the Southern Stars
That gave the Field of Blue?
Go, ask the men who watched them,/What time the bugle blew!
No! When the bugle blew
They did what they could do;
Zealandia's sons were 'mid the guns
What time the bugle blew.


Now many are returning,
Shattered in health and frame;
And many sleep beneath the sand
For Queen and Empire's fame.
But Anglo-Saxon deeds and blood
Aye grapple friendship fast,
And like the glowing Future
To the mighty storied Past.
Now when their homeward tramp resounds
Where fern and rata grow,
The heart and hand of Maoriland
Bids Honour's bugle blow.


That heart - that hand - are due
To those whose laurels grew
Twined round the Southern Standard
What time the bugle blew.



M Nalder

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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 19-Jan-2009, 11:50 AM
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Peace


Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!

Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there’s no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart’s long peace there
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.



Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915)
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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 19-Jan-2009, 02:23 PM
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Safety


Dear! of all happy in the hour, most blest
He who has found our hid security,
Assured in the dark tides of the world that rest,
And heard our word, 'Who is so safe as we?'
We have found safety with all things undying,
The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,
The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying,
And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth.
We have built a house that is not for Time's throwing.
We have gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever.
War knows no power. Safe shall be my going,
Secretly armed against all death's endeavour;
Safe though all safety's lost; safe where men fall;
And if these poor limbs die, safest of all.


Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915)
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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 20-Jan-2009, 10:56 AM
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The Dead


Blow out, you bugles over the rich dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene
That men call age; and those who would have been,
their sons, they gave their immortality.

Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for or dearth,
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour had come back, as a king, to earth,
and paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.



Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915)
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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 20-Jan-2009, 03:08 PM
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The Soldier


If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.



Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915)

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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 20-Jan-2009, 05:19 PM
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A Dead Boche


To you who'd read my songs of War
And only hear of blood and fame,
I'll say (you've heard it said before)
"War's Hell!" and if you doubt the same,
Today I found in Mametz Wood
A certain cure for lust of blood:

Where, propped against a shattered trunk,
In a great mess of things unclean,
Sat a dead Boche; he scowled and stunk
With clothes and face a sodden green,
Big-bellied, spectacled, crop-haired,
Dribbling black blood from nose and beard.



Robert Graves

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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 22-Jan-2009, 11:12 AM
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A Letter From the Front


I was out early to-day, spying about
From the top of a haystack - such a lovely morning -
And when I mounted again to canter back
I saw across a field in the broad sunlight
A young Gunner Subaltern, stalking along
With a rook-rifle held at the ready, and - would you believe it? -
A domestic cat, soberly marching beside him.

So I laughed, and felt quite well disposed to the youngster,
And shouted out "the top of the morning" to him,
And wished him "Good sport!" - and then I remembered
My rank, and his, and what I ought to be doing:
And I rode nearer, and added, "I can only suppose
You have not seen the Commander-in-Chief's order
Forbidding English officers to annoy their Allies
By hunting and shooting."
But he stood and saluted
And said earnestly, "I beg your pardon, Sir,
I was only going out to shoot a sparrow
To feed my cat with."
So there was the whole picture,
The lovely early morning, the occasional shell
Screeching and scattering past us, the empty landscape, -
Empty, except for the young Gunner saluting,
And the cat, anxiously watching his every movement.


I may be wrong, or I may have told it badly,
But it struck me as being extremely ludicrous.



Henry Newbolt

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stoirmeil 
Posted: 22-Jan-2009, 01:12 PM
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"the evil"

Whilst the red spittle of the grape-shot sings
all day across the endless sky, and whilst entire
battalions, green or scarlet, rallied by their kings,
disintegrate in crumpled masses under fire

Whilst an abominable madness seeks to pound
a hundred thousand men into a smoking mess -
pitiful dead in summer grass, on the rich ground
out of which Nature wrought these men in holiness;

He is a God who sees it all, and laughs aloud
at damask altar-cloths, incense and chalices,
Who falls asleep lulled by adoring liturgies

and wakens when some mother, in her anguish bowed
and weeping till her old black bonnet shakes with grief
offers him a a big sou wrapped in her handkerchief.

Arthur Rimbaud

(And the original French --

Le Mal

Tandis que les crachats rouges de la mitraille
Sifflent tout le jour par l'infini du ciel bleu;
Qu'écarlates ou verts, près du Roi qui les raille,
Croulent les bataillons en masse dans le feu;


Tandis qu'une folie épouvantable broie
Et fait de cent milliers d'hommes un tas fumant;
-Pauvres morts! dans l'été, dans l'herbe, dans ta joie,
Nature! ô toi qui fis ces hommes saintement!...


-Il est un Dieu, qui rit aux nappes damassées
Des autels, à l'encens, aux grands calices d'or;
Qui dans le bercement des hosannah s'endort,


Et se réveille, quand des mères, ramassées
Dans l'angoisse, et pleurant sous leur vieux bonnet noir,
Lui donnent un gros sou lié dans leur mouchoir!


Arthur Rimbaud )
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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 22-Jan-2009, 01:37 PM
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I always find fascinating that even or specially in the most troubled times poetry can flourish and portrait the broken souls feelings.
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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 22-Jan-2009, 01:38 PM
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Anthem For Doomed Youth


What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in The hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine The holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.



Wilfred Owen

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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 02-Feb-2009, 02:05 PM
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Ubique


There is a word you often see, pronounce it as you may -
'You bike,' 'you bikwe,' 'ubbikwe' - alludin' to R.A.
It serves 'Orse, Field, an' Garrison as motto for a crest,
An' when you've found out all it means I'll tell you 'alf the rest.

Ubique means the long-range Krupp be'ind the low-range 'ill -
Ubique means you'll pick it up an', while you do stand, still.
Ubique means you've caught the flash an' timed it by the sound.
Ubique means five gunners' 'ash before you've loosed a round.


Ubique means Blue Fuse1, an' make the 'ole to sink the trail. 1extreme range
Ubique means stand up an' take the Mauser's 'alf-mile 'ail.
Ubique means the crazy team not God nor man can 'old.
Ubique means that 'orse's scream which turns your innards cold.


Ubique means 'Bank, 'Olborn, Bank - a penny all the way -
The soothin' jingle-bump-an'-clank from day to peaceful day.
Ubique means 'They've caught De Wet, an' now we sha'n't be long.'
Ubique means 'I much regret, the beggar's going strong!'


Ubique means the tearin' drift where, breech-blocks jammed with mud,
The khaki muzzles duck an' lift across the khaki flood.
Ubique means the dancing plain that changes rocks to Boers.
Ubique means the mirage again an' shellin' all outdoors.


Ubique means 'Entrain at once for Grootdefeatfontein'!
Ubique means 'Off-load your guns' - at midnight in the rain!
Ubique means 'More mounted men. Return all guns to store.'
Ubique means the R.A.M.R. Infantillery Corps!


Ubique means the warnin' grunt the perished linesman knows,
When o'er 'is strung an' sufferin' front the shrapnel sprays 'is foes,
An' as their firin' dies away the 'usky whisper runs
From lips that 'aven't drunk all day: 'The Guns! Thank Gawd, the Guns!'


Extreme, depressed, point-blank or short, end-first or any'ow,
From Colesberg Kop to Quagga's Poort - from Ninety-Nine till now -



Rudyard Kipling

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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 04-Feb-2009, 01:15 PM
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Attack


At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun
In the wild purple of the glow'ring sun,
Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud
The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one,
Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire.
The barrage roars and lifts. Then, clumsily bowed
With bombs and guns and shovels and battle-gear,
Men jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire.
Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear,
They leave their trenches, going over the top,
While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists,
And hope, with furtive eyes and grappling fists,
Flounders in mud. O Jesus, make it stop!


Siegfried Sassoon

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tallerlacuba 
Posted: 05-Feb-2009, 01:46 PM
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Counter-Attack


We'd gained our first objective hours before
While dawn broke like a face with blinking eyes,
Pallid, unshaved and thirsty, blind with smoke.
Things seemed all right at first. We held their line,
With bombers posted, Lewis guns well placed,
And clink of shovels deepening the shallow trench.
The place was rotten with dead; green clumsy legs
High-booted, sprawled and grovelled along the saps
And trunks, face downward, in the sucking mud,
Wallowed like trodden sand-bags loosely filled;
And naked sodden buttocks, mats of hair,
Bulged, clotted heads slept in the plastering slime.
And then the rain began, - the jolly old rain!

A yawning soldier knelt against the bank,
Staring across the morning blear with fog;
He wondered when the Allemands would get busy;
And then, of course, they started with five-nines
Traversing, sure as fate, and never a dud.
Mute in the clamour of shells he watched them burst
Spouting dark earth and wire with gusts from hell,
While posturing giants dissolved in drifts of smoke.
He crouched and flinched, dizzy with galloping fear,
Sick for escape, - loathing the strangled horror
And butchered, frantic gestures of the dead.


An officer came blundering down the trench:
'Stand-to and man the fire-step!' On he went...
Gasping and bawling, 'Fire-step ... counter-attack!'
Then the haze lifted. Bombing on the right
Down the old sap: machine-guns on the left;
And stumbling figures looming out in front.
'O Christ, they're coming at us!' Bullets spat,
And he remembered his rifle ... rapid fire...
And started blazing wildly ... then a bang
Crumpled and spun him sideways, knocked him out
To grunt and wriggle: none heeded him; he choked
And fought the flapping veils of smothering gloom,
Lost in a blurred confusion of yells and groans...
Down, and down, and down, he sank and drowned,
Bleeding to death. The counter-attack had failed.



Siegfried Sassoon

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