Eden

BY INA ROUSSEAU

Somewhere in Eden, after all this time,
does there still stand, abandoned, like
a ruined city, gates sealed with grisly nails,
the luckless garden?

Is sultry day still followed there
by sultry dusk, sultry night,
where on the branches sallow and purple
the fruit hangs rotting?

Is there still, underground,
spreading like lace among the rocks
a network of unexploited lodes,
onyx and gold?

Through the lush greenery
their wash echoing afar
do there still flow the four glassy streams
of which no mortal drinks?

Somewhere in Eden, after all this time,
does there still stand, like a city in ruins,
forsaken, doomed to slow decay,
the failed garden?

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War Girls

BY JESSIE POPE

There’s the girl who clips your ticket for the train,
And the girl who speeds the lift from floor to floor,
There’s the girl who does a milk-round in the rain,
And the girl who calls for orders at your door.
Strong, sensible, and fit,
They’re out to show their grit,
And tackle jobs with energy and knack.
No longer caged and penned up,
They’re going to keep their end up
Till the khaki soldier boys come marching back.

There’s the motor girl who drives a heavy van,
There’s the butcher girl who brings your joint of meat,
There’s the girl who cries ‘All fares, please!’ like a man,
And the girl who whistles taxis up the street.
Beneath each uniform
Beats a heart that’s soft and warm,
Though of canny mother-wit they show no lack;
But a solemn statement this is,
They’ve no time for love and kisses
Till the khaki soldier boys come marching back.

Sing me a Song of a Lad that is Gone

Sing me a Song of a Lad that is Gone
BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.

Mull was astern, Rum on the port,
Eigg on the starboard bow;
Glory of youth glowed in his soul;
Where is that glory now?

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.

Give me again all that was there,
Give me the sun that shone!
Give me the eyes, give me the soul,
Give me the lad that’s gone!

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Skye.

Billow and breeze, islands and seas,
Mountains of rain and sun,
All that was good, all that was fair,
All that was me is gone.

Rain

BY EDWARD THOMAS

Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying tonight or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

The Man He Killed

BY THOMAS HARDY

“Had he and I but met
            By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
            Right many a nipperkin!
            “But ranged as infantry,
            And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
            And killed him in his place.
            “I shot him dead because —
            Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
            That’s clear enough; although
            “He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
            Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
            No other reason why.
            “Yes; quaint and curious war is!
            You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
            Or help to half-a-crown.”