Posts tagged ‘1915’

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The Dead Poet by Edward Richard Buxton Shanks

When I grow old they’ll come to me and say:
Did you then know him in that distant day?
Did you speak with him, touch his hand, observe
The proud eyes’ fire, soft voice and light lips’ curve?
And I shall answer: This man was my friend;
Call to my memory, add, improve, amend
And count up all the meetings that we had
And note his good and touch upon his bad.

When I grow older and more garrulous,
I shall discourse on the dead poet thus:
I said to him … he answered unto me …
He dined with me one night in Trinity . . .
I supped with him in King’s . . . Ah, pitiful
The twisted memories of an ancient fool
And sweet the silence of a young man dead!
Now far in Lemnos sleeps that golden head,
Unchanged, serene, for ever young and strong,
Lifted above the chances that belong
To us who live, for he shall not grow old
And only of his youth there shall be told
Magical stories, true and wondrous tales,
As of a god whose virtue never fails,
Whose limbs shall never waste, eyes never fall,
And whose clear brain shall not be dimmed at all.

From: Shanks, Edward, Poems, 1916, Sidgwick & Jackson: London, p. 39.

Date: 1915

By: Edward Richard Buxton Shanks (1892-1953)

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Aner Clute by Edgar Lee Masters

Over and over they used to ask me,
While buying the wine or the beer,
In Peoria first, and later in Chicago,
Denver, Frisco, New York, wherever I lived
How I happened to lead the life,
And what was the start of it.
Well, I told them a silk dress,
And a promise of marriage from a rich man—
(It was Lucius Atherton).
But that was not really it at all.
Suppose a boy steals an apple
From the tray at the grocery store,
And they all begin to call him a thief,
The editor, minister, judge, and all the people—
“A thief,” “a thief,” “a thief,” wherever he goes
And he can’t get work, and he can’t get bread
Without stealing it, why the boy will steal.
It’s the way the people regard the theft of the apple
That makes the boy what he is.

From: Masters, Edgar Lee, The Spoon River Anthology, 2010, Project Gutenberg: Salt Lake City, Utah.

Date: 1915

By: Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950)

Friday, 26 October 2018

With Head Erect I Fought the Fight by John Philip Bourke

With head erect I fought the fight
Or mingled with the dance,

And now I merge into the night
With utter nonchalance.

From: Bourke, J. P. (“Bluebush”), Off the Bluebush: Verses for Australians West and East, 1915, Tyrrell’s Limited: Sydney, p. 16.

Date: 1915 (published)

By: John Philip Bourke (1860-1914)

Monday, 23 July 2018

Woo Not the World by Muhammad ibn Abbad al-Mu’tamid

Woo not the world too rashly, for behold,
Beneath the painted silk and broidering,
It is a faithless and inconstant thing.
(Listen to me, Mu’tamid, growing old.)

And we— that dreamed youth’s blade would never rust,
Hoped wells from the mirage, roses from the sand —
The riddle of the world shall understand
And put on wisdom with the robe of dust.

From: ibn Abbad al-Mu’tamid, Muhammad and Smith, Dulcie Lawrence (transl.), Wisdom of the East: The Poems of Mu’tamid, King of Seville, 1915, John Murray: London, p. 54.

Date: 11th century (original in Arabic); 1915 (translation in English)

By: Muhammad ibn Abbad al-Mu’tamid (1040-1095)

Translated by: Dulcie Lawrence Smith (18??-19??)

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Dilemma by John Collings Squire

God heard the embattled nations sing and shout
“Gott strafe England!” and “God save the King!”
God this, God that, and God the other thing—
“Good God!” said God, “I’ve got my work cut out.”

From: Squire, J. C., The Survival of the Fittest and Other Poems, 1916, George Allen & Unwin: London, p. 57.

Date: 1915

By: John Collings Squire (1884-1958)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Crosses in Gallipoli by Ella May McFadyen

Gallipoli, how many are the graves
That in your broken furrows we have sown,
The broken rifle fashioned to a cross
For witness that the Lord may know His own!

What costly spending saw the world in this;
Youth, courage, high adventure, loyalty,
Boy lives of poets, leaders, teachers, saints,
Expended in an hour, Gallipoli!

Aye, so we made you ours in pride and grief,
Renewed our right with every life we paid:
Gay heroes in the battle of the faith,
The boy battalions of a late crusade.

Though duty’s path proved steep beneath their feet,
The way wound steeply once from Nazareth:
And meet our loveliest are for sacrifice,
While stands the Cross for victory – and death!

From: McFadyen, Ella, “Crosses in Gallipoli” from The Sydney Mail – Dec. 8, 1915, p. 15.

Date: 1915

By: Ella May McFadyen (1887-1976)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Gallipoli by Leslie Holdsworth Allen

Winter is here, and in the setting sun
York’s giant bluff is kindled with the ray
That smites his gnarled crags of red and dun,
And the spired obelisk that points the way
Where heroes looked, the first of English blood,
To break the spell of silence with a cry,
Startling the ancient sleep in prophecy
Of you, my people of the Lion-brood.

Does his old vision watch that alien hill,
Embrowned and bleak, where strain upon the height,
Amid sharp silences that burn and chill,
Those heroes’ sons, set in a sterner fight
Than that primeval war with Solitude?
Lo now, the sullen cliff outjets in smoke
And life is groaning death, bloodied and broke!
So fell ye, children of the Lion-Brood!

I weep the dead, they are no more, no more!
O with what pain and rapture came to me
Full birth of love for dazzling-sanded shore,
For heaven of sapphire and for scented tree!
Keen-eyed and all desire, I felt my mood
Still fruitless, waiting gust of quickening breath,
And lo, on darkened wing the wind of Death
Summoned austere the soul to nationhood!

Where cornfields smile in golden-fruited peace
There stalk the spirits of heroes firmly thewed
As he that sailed their path to win the Fleece
For gods that still enchant our solitude.
I weep the dead, they are no more, no more!
Their sons that gather in the teeming grain
Walk sadlier that the men of hill and plain
Themselves are harvest to the wrath of war.

I weep the dead, they are no more, no more!
When dusk descends on city and on plain
Dim lights will shine from window and from door,
And some will guard the vigil of dull pain.
Yet, in the city or in solitude,
There is a burden in the starry air,
An oversong that cries, “The life is fair
That made its triumph nobler with its blood!”

If English oaks should fret with shade their tomb,
Let them have burial here, for one would say,
“I shall sleep soft if some once-haunted room
Keep token of me when I take my way.”
And one again— “The boon of quietude
Is sweet if that old corner of the stream
Where last I saw the creepered window gleam
Keep memory of my days of lustihood.”

Some blossoming orchard-plot, some fenced field,
Some placid strip of furrow-stained earth,
Or some grey coil of cottage-smoke, shall yield
Tribute to those who brought their land to birth,
And this, in city or in lonely wood,
Shall be the guerdon of the death they died,
The cry of Folk made one with pangs of pride,
“They fell, not faithless to the Lion-Brood!”

From: Allen, L. H., “Gallipoli” in The Kookaburra. The Magazine of The Sydney Teachers’ College. War Edition, November,1915, p. 6.

Date: 1915

By: Leslie Holdsworth Allen (1879-1964)

Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Falling Leaves by Margaret Isabel Postgate Cole

Today, as I rode by,
I saw the brown leaves dropping from their tree
In a still afternoon,
When no wind whirled them whistling to the sky,
But thickly, silently,
They fell, like snowflakes wiping out the noon;
And wandered slowly thence
For thinking of a gallant multitude
Which now all withering lay,
Slain by no wind of age or pestilence,
But in their beauty strewed
Like snowflakes falling on the Flemish clay.


Date: 1915

By: Margaret Isabel Postgate Cole (1893-1980)

Thursday, 10 November 2016

“The Exiles” by George Kelly

Not the remembered scent of English air
In thawing fields, nor English melodies,
Nor song of English birds in English skies
Can make this England. All our house is bare;
Our lives are stopped; our hearts are other-where,
As homesick travellers whose impatient eyes
See only aliens: for all England lies
Where you have set your honour and her care.
The earshot of your bugle-calls at morn
Tells England’s measure now; her history
Is in your undistinguished graves compressed
Your deeds are all her life, your sleep her rest
You are her only citizens, and we
Are exiles in the place where we were born.


Date: 1915

By: George Kelly (fl. 1915)

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Into Battle by Julian Henry Francis Grenfell

The naked earth is warm with spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun’s kiss glorying,
And quivers in the loving breeze;
And life is colour and warmth and light,
And a striving evermore for these;
And he is dead who will not fight;
And who dies fighting has increase.

The fighting man shall from the sun
Take warmth, and life from the glowing earth;
Speed with the light-foot winds to run,
And with the trees a newer birth;
And when his fighting shall be done,
Great rest, and fullness after dearth.

All the bright company of Heaven
Hold him in their high comradeship,
The Dog-Star, and the Sisters Seven,
Orion’s Belt and sworded hip.

The woodland trees that stand together,
They stand to him each one a friend;
They gently speak in the windy weather,
They guide to valley and ridge’s end.

The kestrel hovering by day,
And the little owls that call by night,
Bid him swift and keen as they,
As keen of ear, as swift of sight.

The blackbird sings to him ‘Brother, brother,
If this be the last song you shall sing,
Sing well, for you will not sing another;
Brother, sing!’

In dreary, doubtful, waiting hours,
Before the brazen frenzy starts,
The horses show him nobler powers;
O patient eyes, courageous hearts!

And when the burning moment breaks,
And all things else are out of mind,
And only joy of battle takes
Him by the throat, and makes him blind,

Through joy and blindness he shall know,
Not caring much to know, that still
Nor lead nor steel shall reach him, so
That is be not the Destined Will.

The thundering line of battle stands,
And in the air death moans and sings;
But Day shall clasp him with strong hands,
And Night shall fold him in soft wings.


Date: 1915

By: Julian Henry Francis Grenfell (1888-1915)