THE SURVIVOR by ROBERT GRAVES
To die with a forlorn hope, but soon to be raised By hags, the spoilers of the field, to elude their claws And stand once more on a well-swept parade-ground, Scarred and bemedalled, sword upright in fist At head of a new undaunted company:
Is this joy?---to be doubtless alive again, And the others dead? Will your nostrils gladly savour The fragrance, always new, of a first hedge-rose? Will your ears be charmed by the thrush's melody Sung as though he had himself devised it?
And is this joy: after the double suicide (Heart against heart) to be restored entire, To smooth your hair and wash away the life-blood, And presently seek a young and innocent bride, Whispering in the dark: 'for ever and ever'?
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|Author||Graves, Robert (1895-1985)|
|Item Date||(1995, 1997, 1999)|
|Copyright||The Robert Graves Copyright Trust|
|First line||To die with a forlorn hope, but soon to be raised|
|Publication source||Robert Graves Complete Poems: Volumes 1 - 3|
|Publication editor||Graves, Beryl and Ward, Dunstan|
|Digital repository||The First World War Poetry Digital Archive|