Ancre Sunshine by Edmund Blunden

In all his glory the sun was high and glowing
Over the farm world where we found great peace,
And clearest blue the winding river flowing
Seemed to be celebrating a release
From all that speed and music of its own
Which but for some few cows we heard alone.

Here half a century before might I,
Had something chanced, about this point have lain,
Looking with failing sense on such blue sky,
And then became a name with others slain.
But that thought vanished. Claire was wandering free
Miramont way in the golden tasselled lea.

The railway trains went by, and dreamily
I thought of them as planets in their course,
Thought bound perhaps for Arras, how would we
Have wondered once if through the furious force
Murdering our world one of these same had come,
Friendly and sensible – “the war’s over chum”.

And now it seemed Claire was afar, and I
Alone, and where she went perhaps the mill
That used to be had risen again and by
All that had fallen was in its old form still,
For her to witness, with no cold surprise,
In one of those moments when nothing dies.


Date: 1966

By: Edmund Blunden (1896-1974)

One Comment to “Ancre Sunshine by Edmund Blunden”

  1. Just finished reading & enjoying Blunden’s ‘Undertones of War’. In the introduction Hew Strachan mentions Blunden writing ‘Ancre Subshine’ after a battlefield visit citing George Walter’s comment as “the last war poem to be published by any survivor”. A pleasure to be able to find it online here and to discover your site thereby. Rob

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