Men of Verdun
There are five men in the moonlight
That by their shadows stand;
Three hobble humped on crutches,
And two lack each a hand.
Frogs somewhere near the roadside
Chorus their chant absorbed:
But a hush breathes out of the dream-light
That far in heaven is orbed.
It is gentle as sleep falling
And wide as thought can span,
The ancient peace and wonder
That brims in the heart of man.
Beyond the hills it shines now
On no peace but the dead,
On reek of trenches thunder-shocked,
Tense fury of wills in wrestle locked,
A chaos of crumbled red.