First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Stretcher Bearer

My stretcher is one scarlet stain, And as I tries to scrape it clean, I tell you what - I'm sick of pain, For all I've heard, for all I've seen; Around me is the hellish night, And as the war's red rim I trace, I wonder if in Heaven's height Our God don't turn away his face.

I don't care whose the crime may be, I hold no brief for kin or clan; I feel no hate, I only see As man destroys his brother man; I wave no flag, I only know As here beside the dead I wait, A million hearts are weighed with woe, A million homes are desolate.

In dripping darkness far and near, All night I've sought those woeful ones. Dawn suddens up and still I hear The crimson chorus of the guns. Look, like a ball of blood the sun Hangs o'er the scene of wrath and wrong, "Quick! Stretcher-bearers on the run!", Oh Prince of Peace! How long, how long?"

poem by Tommy Crawford

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