Suvla Bay

W H Littlejohn

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Old rose and black and indigo,
Saffron streaks in a spume-tipped grey,
Purple, laved in the dawn's wan glow -
God, how fair you are, Suvla Bay!

Spitting shrapnel and shrieking steel,
Brave men dead in their youth's noonday,
All the anguish their loved ones feel
Is your ambrose, fair Suvla Bay!

Stabbing sun from a brazen sky,
Choking dust from the corpse-strewn way,
Each one treads as he marches by,-
God, how I loathe you, Suvla Bay!

Tanned men delving with laboured breath,
Stinking lighters discharging hay,
Grey-hulled battleships belching death,
God, there's work on at Suvla Bay!

Pale, pale moon and the cold north star,
You who watch while I kneel and pray,
Take to her in the northland far
One sobbing prayer from Suvla Bay!

One sobbing prayer that the dull heart-pain
God in heav'n Thou alone canst stay,
For her be stilled till I come again
Back to her side from Suvla Bay!

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