First World War Poetry Digital Archive



If ever against this easy blue and silver Hazed-over countryside of thoughtfulness, Far behind in the mind and above, Boots from before and below approach trampling, Watch how their premonition will display A forward countryside, low in the distance--- A picture-postcard square of June grass; Will warm a summer season, trim the hedges, Cast the river about on either flank, Start the late cuckoo emptily calling, Invent a rambling tale of moles and voles, Furnish a path with stiles. Watch how the field will broaden, the feet nearing, Sprout with great dandelions and buttercups, Widen and heighten. The blue and silver Fogs at the border of this all-grass. Interruption looms gigantified, Lurches against, treads thundering through, Blots the landscape, scatters all, Roars and rumbles like a dark tunnel, Is gone. The picture-postcard grass and trees Swim back to central: it is a large patch, It is a modest, failing patch of green, The postage-stamp of its departure, Clouded with blue and silver, closing in now To a plain countryside of less and less, Unpeopled and unfeatured blue and silver, Before, behind, above.

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