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The Great War

The war to end all wars.

2/1/17 01:00 am - duathir - Phil Gernhard and Rick Holler, 'The Return of the Red Baron'

Cross-post from war_poetry:

The Return of the Red Baron

You remember that baron flying high in the sky
When Snoopy shot him down with a gleam in his eye
But that baron had leaped from his blood-red plane
Just before it burst into a ball of flame

Snoopy circled back to check his kill
Saw the bloody red baron standing high on a hill
Then he swooped down low
Shouted Curse you red baron!
The German shook his fist you could hear him swearin'
(Ach der lieber!)

Hey watch out little Snoopy
You're really in a mess
You thought you were through with the bloody red baron
But it looks like he's not down yet

Then a cry went up all over the land
The bloody red baron would strike again
But brave little Snoopy said Never fear
As he headed for his plane all the people cheered

Snoopy blazed a trail straight across the sea
Searching in vain for his enemy
Then he found that German trying to fix his plane
A-sweatin and a-cussin about to go insane

Snoopy landed for a pistol duel
The baron was worried
Snoopy was cool
He fired a shot and missed
Started to run
Before Snoopy had a chance to raise his gun

Hey watch out red baron
Snoopy is on your trail
One of these days he's gonna make you pay
And you'll go straight to-
Well watch out red baron...

By Phil Gernhard and Rick Holler (1967)

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1/27/17 01:00 am - duathir - French foolhardiness, January 27, 1917

A French Surgeon Performing a Handstand on a Parapet

(Thanks to fortasse who originally posted this here.)

1/25/17 01:00 am - duathir - Robert Service, 'A Song of Winter Weather'

Cross-post from war_poetry:

A Song of Winter Weather

It isn't the foe that we fear;
It isn't the bullets that whine;
It isn't the business career
Of a shell, or the bust of a mine;
It isn't the snipers who seek
To nip our young hopes in the bud:
No, it isn't the guns,
And it isn't the Huns --
It's the MUD,

It isn't the melee we mind.
That often is rather good fun.
It isn't the shrapnel we find
Obtrusive when rained by the ton;
It isn't the bounce of the bombs
That gives us a positive pain:
It's the strafing we get
When the weather is wet --
It's the RAIN,

It isn't because we lack grit
We shrink from the horrors of war.
We don't mind the battle a bit;
In fact that is what we are for;
It isn't the rum-jars and things
Make us wish we were back in the fold:
It's the fingers that freeze
In the boreal breeze --
It's the COLD,

Oh, the rain, the mud, and the cold,
The cold, the mud, and the rain;
With weather at zero it's hard for a hero
From language that's rude to refrain.
With porridgy muck to the knees,
With sky that's a-pouring a flood,
Sure the worst of our foes
Are the pains and the woes
Of the RAIN,
the COLD,
and the MUD.

By Robert W. Service

1/24/17 01:00 am - duathir - Jessie Pope, 'An Over-Lord'

Cross-post from war_poetry:

An Over-Lord

Here's a prominent person
I must write a verse on
His ways are so strictly impartial,
His power is great,
His word carries weight
In matters domestic and martial.

He never takes sides,
But rough-shod he rides
Over General, French and the Kaiser ;
Party spirit he shuns,
He hinders the Huns
And makes Tommy sadder and wiser.

When in genial mood
He's so kindly and good
You'd never believe he could vary.
But when out for a grumble
He's rough to your humble
And equally rude to Queen Mary.

Entente and Alliance
Endure his defiance
In mute resignation together.
His name is suppressed,
But you'll doubtless have guessed
That by trade he's the Clerk of the Weather.

By Jessie Pope

1/21/17 01:00 am - duathir - T.A. Girling, 'The Bond'

The Bond

Up from the cheerless billets,
From trenches and listening post,
From huts, and dugouts, and gunpits,
From the hearts of a watching host,
In the dark drear night of danger,
When the soul can hide its pain,
Comes the striving, yearning, longing
For the love of a home again.

Like the misty veil of morning,
When the sun draws back the dew,
The pure, bright, quickened memories
Turn back to home anew.
From lonely hearts of Britain
The love that made them brave,
Returns to seek communion
With those it left to save.

It heeds not the hungry waters,
Nor distance, nor time can pen,
From the longing call of their dear ones,
The love of a million men.
From husband, and father, and brother,
Companion, and lover, and son,
The love of a nation is passing
With the sound of the midnight gun.

In the treasured home of Britain,
In cottage, and villa, and hall,
With glistening eyes of watching,
Is an answer to the call ;
And the truth, and patience of woman,
In the pain that she bears alone,
Gives back to the heart that seeks it
The love that is all its own.

They vaunt of the power to conquer
In the massed and heated guns,
But the matchless might of Britain
Lies deep in the heart of her sons.
The hard, stern road of duty,
The unseen cloud above,
Are one in Britain's glory,
The conquering power of love.

by T.A. Girling
2lst January, 1917

1/20/17 01:00 am - duathir - George Horton, 'Love'

Cross-post from war_poetry:


Home from the battle plain
They brought their bravest, slain.

Oh, not with muffled drum
In sadness did they come.

And not with measured tread
As those who bear the dead.

But like some Bacchic throng
Madly they rushed along.

Waving their weapons high,
Shouting a battle cry.

"The city gates throw wide,
Let Victory in," they cried.

Forth poured in gladness then
The women and old men.

"All praise to these," they shout,
"Who put our foes to rout."

But why that sudden wail,
Turning flushed faces pale?

It was a voice that said:
"My love is dead, is dead!"

"Nay," quoth a warrior grim,
"Weep not, my child, for him.

In sad and desperate fray
His valor saved the day.

He fell upon the spears
With 'Victory!' in his ears.

He died with sword in hand.
The saviour of our land.

In fame to live and live,
This life who would not give?"

She answered him and said:
"But he is dead, is dead."

Spake then in bitter pain
The mother of the slain.

"And is he dead, my son,
My beauteous, peerless one?

Yet liefer would I know
That thus he lieth low.

Than if he lived to shame
And blight an honest name!"

"Aye," cried the slain one's sire
Flushing with sudden fire,

"Glory now hath the boy;
I yield my all with joy!"

Still o'er the stretcher bent;
In grief's abandonment,

That young wife worldly fair,
Moaning in anguish there.

And this is all she said:
"My love is dead, is dead!"

Out stepped a poet then,
Great, though unknown of men.

"The task," he cried, "be mine
To sing this deed divine.

To tell its beauteous worth
For all the years of earth;

To wed it with sweet sound
While this dark world goes round.

So shall his name outlast
These walls and temples vast,

Yea, e'en his native land,
Though ages drift like sand."

He ceased. The young wife said:
"But he is dead, is dead."

Up then a sculptor spake:
"Why sorrow for his sake?

For I will shape his face
In marble's deathless grace.

And I will hew his form
In living curves and warm,

Showing all after days
This hero whom we praise."

The lone one answering said:
"But he is dead, is dead."

A painter next spake out:
"Mine be to show war's rout,

Wan hate and fury's spell,
The night and fire of hell,

And tall amidst the gloom
Our deathless dead shall loom,

Pointing the fearful way
Where fame and victory lay."

And then a gladsome cheer
Rose lusty, far and near,

From all but one, who said:
"My love is dead, is dead!"

Hundreds of years since then
Full of forgotten men,

Have melted noiselessly,
Like snowdrops in the sea.

The song that poet sung
Yet lives in many a tongue;

The warrior's carven form
Still seems alert and warm;

Men thrill with pride to-day
Seeing that painted fray.

But ah, from long ago
There drifts a sound of woe,

A weary, sad refrain,
Making all glory vain,

The voice of her who said:
"But he is dead, is dead!"

by George Horton

1/18/17 01:00 am - duathir - George Meredith, 'Atkins'

Cross-post from war_poetry:


Yonder's the man with his life in his hand,
Legs on the march for whatever the land,
Or to the slaughter, or to the maiming,
Getting the dole of a dog for pay.
Laurels he clasps in the words 'duty done,'
England his heart under every sun:-
Exquisite humour! that gives him a naming
Base to the ear as an ass's bray.

by George Meredith

1/17/17 01:00 am - duathir - Ivor Gurney, 'Song'

Cross-post from war_poetry:


Only the wanderer
Knows England's graces,
Or can anew see clear
Familiar faces.

And who loves joy as he
That dwells in shadows?
Do not forget me quite,
O Severn meadows.

By Ivor Gurney (January 1917)

1/15/17 02:00 am - duathir - Edward Godfree, 'Sunsets'

Cross-post from war_poetry:


The white body of the evening
Is torn in scarlet,
Slashed and gouged and seared
Into crimson,
And hung ironically
With garlands of mist.

And the wind
Blowing over London from Flanders
Has a bitter taste.

By Edward Godfree

1/14/17 11:27 pm - duathir - Edward Thomas, 'Rain'

Cross-post from war_poetry:


Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be for what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

By Edward Thomas
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