[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
A Soldiers' Cemetery

Behind that long and lonely trenched line
To which men come and go, where brave men die,
There is a yet unmarked and unknown shrine,
A broken plot, a soldier’s cemetery.

There lie the flower of youth, the men who scorn’d
To live (so died) when languished Liberty:
Across their graves flowerless and unadorned
Still scream the shells of each artillery.

When war shall cease this lonely unknown spot
Of many a pilgrimage will be the end,
And flowers will shine in this now barren plot
And fame upon it through the years descend:
But many a heart upon each simple cross
Will hang the grief, the memory of its loss.

by John William Streets

John William Streets, killed July 1, 1916 at the opening battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme ended November 18, 1916
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
A Lark Above The Trenches

Hushed is the shriek of hurtling shells: and hark!
Somewhere within that bit of soft blue sky-
Grand in his loneliness, his ecstasy,
His lyric wild and free-carols a lark:

I in the trench, he lost in heaven afar,
I dream of Love, its ecstasy he sings;
Doth lure my soul to love till like a star
It flashes into Life: O tireless wings

That beat love's message into melody-
A song that touches in this place remote
Gladness supreme in its undying note
And stirs to life the soul of memory-
'Tis strange that while you're beating into life
Men here below are plunged in sanguine strife!

by John William Streets

John William Streets, killed July 1, 1916 at the first battle of the Somme

First World War - Battle of the Somme and experiences of trench warfare
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Remembrance

Sweet are the wind's soft kisses on the brow;
Sweet is the singing of the mated bird;
Sweet is the scent of blossom on the bough;
Sweet is a woman's singing voice when heard!

Happy recall of things remembered -
Life's happy hours, love's blooded ecstasy.
Youth's sanguine dreams whose tireless wings outsped
The light - now silhouettes of Memory!

E'en like a dawn whose flush outlives the day;
E'en like a star that lives beyond the night;
As maid's remembrance of her bridal-day;
Or as his cult to mystic acolyte -
So is the memory of these things to me
Here on the verge of death, eternity.

by John William Streets

John William Streets: The Undying Splendour
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
A Soldier's Funeral

No splendid show of solemn funeral rite,
No stricken mourners following his bier,
No peal of organ reaching thro' his night,
Is rendered him whom now we bury here.

'Tis but a soldier stricken in the fight,
A youth who flung his passion into life,
Flung scorn at Death, fought true for Freedom's might,
Till Death did close his vision in the strife.

No splendid rite is here-yet lay him low,
Where the sweet brook doth babble by his side.
No splendour, yet we lay him tenderly
To rest, his requiem the artillery.

by John William Streets

John William Streets: The Undying Splendour
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Comrades

Those whom I've known, admired, ardently friended
Lie silent there wrapp'd in a soldier's shroud;
Death broke their dreams, their aspirations ended,
These sanguine youth, noble, brave and proud.

Slowly they bear them 'neath the dim star light
Unto their rest-the soldiers' cemetery:
The chaplain chants a low, brief litany;
The nightingale flings rapture on the night.

Back to their Mother Earth this night return
Unnumbered youth along the far-flung line;
But 'tis for these my eyes with feeling burn,
That Memory doth erect a fadeless shrine-
For these I've known, admired, ardently friended
Stood by when Death their love, their youth swift ended.

by John William Streets
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
April Evening: France, 1916

O sweet blue eve that seems so loath to die,
Trailing the sunset glory into night,
Within the soft, cool strangeness of thy light,
My heart doth seem to find its sanctuary.

The day doth verge with all its secret care,
The thrush is lilting vespers on the thorn;
In Nature's inner heart seems to be born
A sweet serenity; and over there

Within the shadows of the stealing Night,
Beneath the benison of all her stars
Men, stirr'd to passion by relentless Mars,
Laughing at Death, wage an unceasing fight.

The thunder of the guns, the scream of shells
Now seem to rend the placid evening air:
Yet as the night is lit by many a flare
The thrush his love in one wild lyric tells.

O sweet blue eve! Lingering awhile with thee,
Before the earth with thy sweet dews are wet,
My heart all but thy beauty shall forget
And find itself in thy serenity.

by John William Streets
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com

Gallipoli

Upon the margin of a rugged shore
There is a spot now barren, desolate,
A place of graves, sodden with human gore
That Time will hallow, Memory consecrate.

There lie the ashes of the mighty dead,
The youth who lit with flame Obscurity,
Fought true for Freedom, won thro' rain of lead
Undying fame, their immortality.

The stranger wand'ring when the war is over,
The ploughman there driving his coulter deep,
The husbandman who golden harvests reap-
From hill and ravine, from each plain and cover
Will hear a shout, see phantoms on the marge,
See men again making a deathless charge.

by John William Streets

Timeline of the Gallipoli campaign, April 1915

[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com

Gallipoli

Upon the margin of a rugged shore
There is a spot now barren, desolate,
A place of graves, sodden with human gore
That Time will hallow, Memory consecrate.

There lie the ashes of the mighty dead,
The youth who lit with flame Obscurity,
Fought true for Freedom, won thro' rain of lead
Undying fame, their immortality.

The stranger wand'ring when the war is over,
The ploughman there driving his coulter deep,
The husbandman who golden harvests reap-
From hill and ravine, from each plain and cover
Will hear a shout, see phantoms on the marge,
See men again making a deathless charge.

by John William Streets

Gallipoli landings, April 25, 1915

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