Posts tagged ‘1916’

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Silence by Reginald James Godfrey

This is indeed a false, false night;
There’s not a soldier sleeps,
But like a ghost stands to his post,
While Death through the long sap creeps.
There’s an eerie filmy spell o’er all —
A murmur from the sea;
And not a sound on the hills around —
Say, what will the silence be?

From: https://web.archive.org/web/20140604193401/http:/www.jill-hamilton.com/anzacday-poems.html

Date: 1916

By: Reginald James Godfrey (1892-1979)

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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Song of Living by Amelia Josephine Burr

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have kissed young Love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end.
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I give a share of my soul to the world where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I must leave undone.
I know that no flower, no flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

From: Burr, Amelia Josephine, Life and Living. A Book of Verse, 1916, George H. Doran Company: New York, pp. 15-16.
(https://archive.org/details/livinglifeverse00burrrich)

Date: 1916

By: Amelia Josephine Burr (1878-1968)

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A Life by Edith Irene Södergran

That the stars are adamant
everyone understands—
but I won’t give up seeking joy on each blue wave
or peace below every gray stone.
If happiness never comes, what is a life?
A lily withers in the sand
and if its nature has failed? The tide
washes the beach at night.
What is the fly looking for on the spider’s web?
What does a dayfly make of its hours?
(Two wings creased over a hollow body.)

Black will never turn to white—
yet the perfume of our struggle lingers
as each morning fresh flowers
spring up from hell.

The day will come
when the earth is emptied, the skies collapse
and all goes still—
when nothing remains but the dayfly
folded in a leaf.
But no one knows it.

From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/55402

Date: c1916 (original in Swedish); 2012 (translation in English)

By: Edith Irene Södergran (1892-1923)

Translated by: Averill Ann Curdy (19??- )

Friday, 11 November 2016

To Any Diplomatist by William Norman Ewer

Heeding nought else, your subtle game you played,
Took tricks and lost them, reckoned up the score,
Balanced defeats with triumphs, less with more,
And plotted how the next point might be made:
How some sly move with countermoves to meet,
How by some crafty stratagem to gain
This empty point of honour, how obtain
That barren symbol of a foe’s defeat.

Engrossed, you never cared to realise
The folly of the things for which you fought,
The hideous peril which your striving brought –
A witless struggle for a worthless prize!
God! Were you fiends or fools, who, in your game,
Heedless, have set the circling world aflame?

From: Noakes, Vivian (ed.), Voices of Silence: The Alternative Book of First World War Poetry, 2006, Sutton Publishing: Stroud, Gloucestershire, p. [unnumbered].
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=f8A7AwAAQBAJ)

Date: 1916

By: William Norman Ewer (1885-1977)

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Falcon by Der von Kürenberg

I raised a noble falcon
For more than a year;
And when I had tamed him
And decked his feathers, tying
Them with a golden band,
He rose so swiftly, flying
Far to another land.

Since then I’ve seen my falcon
Gaily soaring;
And from his feet were waving
Fair silken ribbons,
And on his wings each feather
Was ruddy gold to see;
Ah, God bring those together
Who lovers fain would be!

From: http://www.bartleby.com/177/9.html

Date: c1175 (original); 1916 (translation)

By: Der von Kürenberg (fl. 1150-1170)

Translated by: Margarete Münsterberg (1889-19??)

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Song of the Dead* by John Henry Macartney Abbott

Large numbers of Australian and New Zealand volunteers are already on the water bound for Vancouver, en route for Europe.–Paragraph of War News, 1915.

Oh Land of Ours, hear the song we make for you
Land of yellow wattle bloom, land of smiling Spring-
Hearken to the after words, land of pleasant memories,
Shea–oaks of the shady creeks, hear the song we sing.
For we lie quietly, underneath the lonely hills,
Where the land is silent, where the guns have ceased boom,
Here we are waiting, and shall wait for Eternity–
Here on the battle–fields, where we found our doom.

Spare not thy pity–Life is strong and fair for you–
City by the waterside, homestead on the plain.
Keep ye remembrance, keep ye a place for us–
So all the bitterness of dying be not vain.
Oh, be ye mindful, mindful of our honor’s name;
Oh, be ye careful of the word ye speak in jest–
For we have bled for you; for we have died for you-
Yea, we have given, we have given our best.

Life that we might have lived, love that we might have loved,
Sorrow of all sorrows, we have drunk thy bitter lees.
Speak thou a word to us, here in our narrow beds–
Word of thy mourning lands beyond the Seas.
Lo, we have paid the price, paid the cost of Victory.
Do not forget, when the rest shall homeward come–
Mother of our childhood, sister of our manhood days,
Loved of our heavy hearts, whom we have left alone.

Hark to the guns–pause and turn, and think of us–
Red was our life’s blood, and heavy was the cost.
But ye have Nationhood, but ye are a people strong–
Oh, have ye love for the brothers ye have lost?
Oh, by the blue skies, clear beyond the mountain tops,
Oh, by the dear, dun plains where we were bred,–
What be your tokens, tokens that ye grieve for us,
Tokens of your Sorrowing for we that be Dead?

*This poem was originally published (in a slightly different version) in 1902 as part of the author’s memoirs of the Australian involvement in the Boer War (in which he took part) but was re-issued (with alterations to reflect the new theatre of war) at some time after the Australian and New Zealand forces withdrew from Gallipoli at the end of 1915.

From: http://greatwar.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/poetry/eaton/Eaton132/

Date: 1916?

By: John Henry Macartney Abbott (1874-1953)

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Anzac Cove by Leon Maxwell Gellert

There’s a lonely stretch of hillocks;
There’s a beach asleep and drear,
There’s a battered broken fort beside the sea.
There are sunken trampled graves;
And a little rotting pier;
And winding paths that wind unceasingly.
There’s a torn and silent valley;
There’s a tiny rivulet
With some blood upon the stones beside its mouth.
There are lines of buried bones;
There’s an unpaid waiting debt;
There’s a sound of gentle sobbing in the South.

January, 1916.

From: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-WaiNewZ-c18-1.html

Date: 1916

By: Leon Maxwell Gellert (1892-1977)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Lines from the Tomb of an Unknown Woman by Unknown

Taken from a tomb on the Fu-Kiu mountain district of So-Chau in the Province of Kiangsu. The date of the poem is many centuries old.

Mother of Pity, hear my prayer
That in the endless round of birth
No more may break my heart on earth,
Nor by the windless waters of the Blest
Weary of rest;
That drifting, drifting, I abide not anywhere.
Yet if by Karma’s law I must
Resume this mantle of the dust
Grant me, I pray,
One dewdrop from thy willow spray,
And in the double lotus keep
My hidden heart asleep.

From: Cranmer-Byng, L., A Feast of Lanterns: Renderered with an Introduction by L. Cranmer-Byng, 1916, John Murray: London, p. 39.
(http://www.sacred-texts.com/cfu/fol/fol11.htm#page_39)

Date: ? (original); 1916 (translation)

By: Unknown

Translated by: Launcelot Cranmer-Byng (1872-1945)

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Consolation by Beatrice Cregan

O in a dream last night, in a dream you came,
Those arms about me, and that lovely look,
Radiant through tears! and as of old for me
Passionate love and understanding there,
With something higher, loyal and large and free.

There was sorrow in my dream, and, when you came,
The unutterable longing to be at rest,
To be at rest with you! Then the sweet pang,
When as of old remorseful love leaped up
To shield and save you, darling, from my pain.

O, inspiration of unselfish love!
Come to me still. I was only good for you.
I am nothing alone. But I can live while life
Still holds the consolation of a dream.

From: http://www.poetrynook.com/poem/consolation-23

Date: 1916

By: Beatrice Cregan (fl. 1893-1939)

Monday, 10 November 2014

War Girls by Jessie Pope

There’s the girl who clips your ticket for the train,
And the girl who speeds the lift from floor to floor,
There’s the girl who does a milk-round in the rain,
And the girl who calls for orders at your door.
Strong, sensible, and fit,
They’re out to show their grit,
And tackle jobs with energy and knack.
No longer caged and penned up,
They’re going to keep their end up
Till the khaki boys come marching back.

There’s the motor girl who drives a heavy van,
There’s the butcher girl who brings your joint of meat,
There’s the girl who cries ‘All fares, please!’ like a man,
And the girl who whistles taxis up the street.
Beneath each uniform
Beats a heart that’s soft and warm,
Though of canny mother-wit they show no lack;
But a solemn statement this is,
They’ve no time for love and kisses
Till the khaki soldier boys come marching home.

From: https://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/20century/topic_1_05/jpope_girls.htm

Date: 1916

By: Jessie Pope (1868-1941)