Ella Wheeler Wilcox |
When my blood flows calm as a purling river,
When my heart is asleep and my brain has sway,
It is then that I vow we must part for ever,
That I will forget you, and put you away
Out of my life, as a dream is banished
Out of the mind when the dreamer awakes;
That I know it will be when the spell has vanished,
Better for both of our sakes.
When the court of the mind is ruled by Reason,
I know it wiser for us to part;
But Love is a spy who is plotting treason,
In league with that warm, red rebel, the Heart.
They whisper to me that the King is cruel,
That his reign is wicked, his law a sin,
And every word they utter is fuel
To the flame that smoulders within.
And on nights like this, when my blood runs riot
With the fever of youth and its mad desires,
When my brain in vain bids my heart be quiet,
When my breast seems the centre of lava-fires,
Oh, then is when most I miss you,
And I swear by the stars and my soul and say
That I will have you, and hold you, and kiss you,
Though the whole world stands in the way.
And like Communists, as mad, as disloyal,
My fierce emotions roam out of their lair;
They hate King Reason for being royal –
They would fire his castle, and burn him there.
O Love! They would clasp you, and crush you and kill you,
In the insurrection of uncontrol.
Across the miles, does this wild war thrill you
That is raging in my soul?
Robert William Service |
"Where are you going, Young Fellow My Lad,
On this glittering morn of May?"
"I'm going to join the Colours, Dad;
They're looking for men, they say.
"But you're only a boy, Young Fellow My Lad;
You aren't obliged to go.
"I'm seventeen and a quarter, Dad,
And ever so strong, you know.
* * * *
"So you're off to France, Young Fellow My Lad,
And you're looking so fit and bright.
"I'm terribly sorry to leave you, Dad,
But I feel that I'm doing right.
"God bless you and keep you, Young Fellow My Lad,
You're all of my life, you know.
I'll soon be back, dear Dad,
And I'm awfully proud to go.
* * * *
"Why don't you write, Young Fellow My Lad?
I watch for the post each day;
And I miss you so, and I'm awfully sad,
And it's months since you went away.
And I've had the fire in the parlour lit,
And I'm keeping it burning bright
Till my boy comes home; and here I sit
Into the quiet night.
* * * *
"What is the matter, Young Fellow My Lad?
No letter again to-day.
Why did the postman look so sad,
And sigh as he turned away?
I hear them tell that we've gained new ground,
But a terrible price we've paid:
God grant, my boy, that you're safe and sound;
But oh I'm afraid, afraid.
* * * *
"They've told me the truth, Young Fellow My Lad:
You'll never come back again:
(Oh God! the dreams and the dreams I've had,
and the hopes I've nursed in vain!)
For you passed in the night, Young Fellow My Lad,
And you proved in the cruel test
Of the screaming shell and the battle hell
That my boy was one of the best.
"So you'll live, you'll live, Young Fellow My Lad,
In the gleam of the evening star,
In the wood-note wild and the laugh of the child,
In all sweet things that are.
And you'll never die, my wonderful boy,
While life is noble and true;
For all our beauty and hope and joy
We will owe to our lads like you.