by Ivor Gurney
Robecq had straw and a comfortable tavern
There men might their sinews feel slowly recovering
From the march-strain and there was Autumn's translucence
In the calm air, and a tang of the earth and its essence.
A girl served wine there with natural dignity
Moving as any princess from care free,
And the North French air bathed crystal the flat land
With cabbages and tobacco plants and varied culture spanned.
Beautiful with moist clarity of Autumn's breath.
Lovely with the years turning to leafless death
Robecq, the dark town at night with estaminets lit,
The outside road with poplars, plane trees on it,
Huge dark barn with candles throwing warning flares
Glooms steady + shifting pierced with cold flowing airs,
With dumb peace at last and a wrapping from cares.
Last updated July 01, 2015