Archive for November 13th, 2020

Friday, 13 November 2020

Smoke by Bernard Freeman Trotter

All the windy ways of man
Are a smoke that rises up.

Breath of the mine,
Wraith of the oak—
Who shall divine
The riddle of smoke?

Weave me a cloud,
Cover the sky;
Weave me a shroud:
Life is a lie!

Weave it not thin,
Weave it not fine;
Vivid as sin,
This, the design:

Beings of might
Toiling with death;
Frail things afright,
Gasping for breath;

Cities of doom,
Blackened and grim;
Battle-cloud’s gloom;
Charred forests dim;

Crater and pit,
Furnace and pyre;—
Boldly in-knit
With garlands of fire.

Weave it!
The dust lies in the urn:
So at last must
All the world burn.

Take then your toll,
Weaver of cloud.
Follows the whole:
Weave me a shroud.

Weave me it true,
Weave me it well—
Weave me it, weave me it,
Vapour of hell.


Date: 1917

By: Bernard Freeman Trotter (1890-1917)