by Ivor Gurney
So the last poem is laid flat in its place,
And Crickley with Crucifix Comer leaves from my face
Elizabethans and night-working thoughts - of such grace.
And all the dawns that set my thoughts new to making;
Or Crickley dusk that the beech leaves stirred to shaking
Are put aside - there is a book ended; heart aching.
Joy and sorrow, and all thoughts a poet thinks,
Walking or turning to music; the wrought out links
Of fancy to fancy - by Severn or by Artois brinks.
Only what's false in this, blood itself would not save,
Sweat would not heighten - the dead Master in his grave
Would my true following of him, my care approve.
And more than he, I paid the prices of life
Standing where Rome immortal heard October's strife,
A war poet whose right of honour cuts falsehood like a knife.
War poet - his right is of nobler steel - the careful sword -
And night walker will not suffer of praise the word
From the sleepers; the custom-followers, the dead lives unstirred.
Only, who thought of England as two thousand years
Must keep of today's life, the proper anger and fears,
England that was paid for by building and ploughing and tears.
Last updated July 01, 2015