[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Dead, 1915

Ye that have hewn from death's dark stubborn stone
Immortal frescoes lovelier than light,
And given to sacrifice a rosier might
Than all unstable Autumn's wealth unstrown,
And unto Life such terrible renown,
And unto Love a loss so sweet and white
That purer than the stars he stands to-night
Smiling serene, unspeakably alone -

If aught of earth can reach immortal ears,
May truth's white bird of rumour, mounting high,
Bring you the secret of our hidden tears
And the proud falsehood of the tearless eye;
Till in the heavy wrappage of the years
Death's self be hid and sad truth seem a lie.

by Willoughby Weaving
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Between the Trenches

How strangely did you break upon
That sudden land beyond life's veil?
A moment did your spirit fail,
As mine when first I knew you gone
The last dark journey, saw your clay
So vacant, loveless, borne away,
And the features, that I loved to scan,
The same but of another man
Unknown - a bright dream all undone.

What stranger did the bearers lift
In their soiled stretcher lightly laid
Where I had seen you fall adrift
From life - had time to be afraid?
- That, all of you that had breathed and moved
That, none of you that lived and loved,
A hush that so I seemed to hate
For claiming still its lost inmate,
A false pretence, a solid shade.

Shadow more solid, but less real
Than love and laughter whence it fell
Across my path with mute appeal
And served your spirit's purpose well -
So well that even I could see
It indistinguishably thee,
Till you had left it like a sheath
With laughter in the hands of death,
And left me gay, not miserable.

Ah, love had never more to lose:
If certain love had less to tell
Then might I in despair's excuse
Bid you a hopeless, vain farewell,
And by the stranger's grave have wept
A solemn while, and sadly kept
In mind his features filled not through
With breathing life, love living, you
Who smiled upon his burial.

by Willoughby Weaving
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Warrior Month

Strong March, what wonder that I think of war
When thou art triumphing across the sky
With bannered cloud and trump of victory
Bloodless, and not as our red triumphs are,
And ire thy happy conquest spreading far
The Spring's green welcome ravage, biddest fly
Those dull oppressors of the land, the sly
Old monarch Winter and his consort Care.

A happy gain to all, a loss to none!
But we, how great soe'er our triumphs be
Ever gain less than we have lost alone,
And less than even our broken enemy
Get from the thought how their brave dead have known
Nought of their country's dire calamity.

by Willoughby Weaving
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Ghosts

By rosy woodlands all aglow
With autumn, slow-consuming fire,
By dintling brooks that broaden now,
By hill and hollow and mead and mire,
By farms mid all their yellow ricks
From ivied chimney smoking blue,
And by the lofty kiln where bricks
Stand piled in cubes so red and new,
By queer thatched hamlets all askew,
And by the little unbusy town
Around the grey spire that we knew,
We pass again, but all unknown.

Again we guide the jolting plough
Or bake the brittle, tinting clay;
But none will mark our labour now,
Urge as we will, toil as we may.

by Willoughby Weaving
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Dies Irae
(In Flanders)

The land went up in fire and curdled smoke,
And the flames flickered on the flowing blood,
And all the hot air thick with thunder stood
Shaken, as oxen shake beneath a yoke
And rattle all their harness: laughter broke,
A horrid laughter, from the steaming flood,
And the unpent cry of broken womanhood
Mounted to God and hid him like a cloak.

Red mortal wrath of man, that so he dies
For indignation just, and lightly slays,
Sealing so bloodily his length of days,
Regarding not the splendid sacrifice,
Holding the gift of life below God's price
To his eternal glory and God's praise.

by Willoughby Weaving
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Progress

Ah Progress, what a sorry claim thou hast
To be accounted worthy of thy name!
Availing less than a weak candle-flame
Before our steady accusation's blast.
Thy life is forfeit - thou that never wast
More than a word between the lips of shame,
A subtle lie that so like truth became,
That all unknown our skies grew overcast!

The mind triumphant - making hideous war,
A reeking shambles all impossible,
Yet luring on the nations near and far
To that red end? Arise, ye dead, and tell
How in our hate we hate no less than ye,
And in our love love not more tenderly.

by Willoughby Weaving
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
The Warrior Month

Strong March, what wonder that I think of war
When thou art triumphing across the sky
With bannered cloud and trump of victory
Bloodless, and not as our red triumphs are,
And ire thy happy conquest spreading far
The Spring's green welcome ravage, biddest fly
Those dull oppressors of the land, the sly
Old monarch Winter and his consort Care.

A happy gain to all, a loss to none!
But we, how great soe'er our triumphs be
Ever gain less than we have lost alone,
And less than even our broken enemy
Get from the thought how their brave dead have known
Nought of their country's dire calamity.

by Willoughby Weaving
[identity profile] duathir.livejournal.com
Between the Trenches

How strangely did you break upon
That sudden land beyond life's veil?
A moment did your spirit fail,
As mine when first I knew you gone
The last dark journey, saw your clay
So vacant, loveless, borne away,
And the features, that I loved to scan,
The same but of another man
Unknown - a bright dream all undone.

What stranger did the bearers lift
In their soiled stretcher lightly laid
Where I had seen you fall adrift
From life - had time to be afraid?
- That, all of you that had breathed and moved
That, none of you that lived and loved,
A hush that so I seemed to hate
For claiming still its lost inmate,
A false pretence, a solid shade.

Shadow more solid, but less real
Than love and laughter whence it fell
Across my path with mute appeal
And served your spirit's purpose well -
So well that even I could see
It indistinguishably thee,
Till you had left it like a sheath
With laughter in the hands of death,
And left me gay, not miserable.

Ah, love had never more to lose:
If certain love had less to tell
Then might I in despair's excuse
Bid you a hopeless, vain farewell,
And by the stranger's grave have wept
A solemn while, and sadly kept
In mind his features filled not through
With breathing life, love living, you
Who smiled upon his burial.

by Willoughby Weaving

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