by Ivor Gurney
Aveluy and New Year's eve, and the time as tender
As if green buds grew. In the low West a slender
Streak of last orange. Guns mostly deadest still.
And a noise of limbers near, coming down the hill.
Nothing doing, nothing doing, and a screed to write,
Candles enough for books, a sleepy delight
In the warm dugout, day ended. Nine hours to the light.
There now and then now, one nestled down snug,
A head is enough to read by, and cover up with a rug.
Electric. Clarinet sang of a Hundred Pipers
(And hush-awe mystery vanishes like tapers
Of tobacco smoke,) there was a great hilarity then!
Breath and a queer tube magicked sorrow from men.
Here was no soul's cheat, friends were of love over there
How past thought, returning sweet! yet the soldier must dare.
Last updated July 01, 2015