Archive for April 23rd, 2022

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Nous Autres by Geoffrey Dearmer

We never feel the lust of steel
Or fury-woken blood,
We live and die and wonder why
In mud, and mud, and mud,
And horror first and horror last
And Phantom Terror riding past.
We hear and hear the hounds of Fear
Nearer and more near.
We feel their breath….
Only the nights befriend
And mitigate the hell;
Of those who ponder, see and hear,
Too well.
The nights, and Death –
The end.
We feel but never fear
His breath.

Day after weary day,
In vain, in vain, in vain,
We turn to Thee and pray,
We cry and cry again –
“O lord of Battle, why
Should we alone be sane?”

We stifle cries with lightless eyes
And face eternal night;
We stifle cries to sacrifice
Our eyes for Human Sight.
And many give that men may live,
A life, a limb, a brain,
That fellow men may understand
And be for ever sane.
What matter if we lose a hand
If others wander hand in hand;
Or lose a foot if others greet
The dawn of peace with dancing feet;
What matter if we die unheard
If others hear the Poet’s Word?

Because we pay from day to day
The price of sacrifice;
Because we face each dreary place
Again, again, again.
Lord, set us free from Sanity –
Who feel no fighting thrill;
Must we remain for ever sane
And never learn to kill?
No answer came. In very shame
Our long-unheeded cry
Grew bitterly more bitterly,
“O why, O why, O why.
May we not feel the lust of steel
The fury-woken thrill –
For men may learn to live and die
And never learn to kill?”

From: https://allpoetry.com/Nous-Autres

Date: 1919

By: Geoffrey Dearmer (1893-1996)