C. K. Scott Moncrieff

Domum

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(OMNIBUS WICCAMICIS)

The green and grey and purple day is barred with clouds of dun,
From Ypres city smouldering before the setting sun;
Another hour will see it flower, lamentable sight,
A bush of burning roses underneath the night.

Who's to fight for Flanders, who will set them free,
The war-worn lowlands by the English sea?
Who, my young companions, will choose a way to war,
That Marlborough, Wellington, have trodden out before?

Are these mere names? Then hear a solemn sound:
The blood of our brothers is crying from the ground:
"What we dared and died for, what the rest may do,
Little sons of Wykeham, is it naught to you?

"Father and Founder, our feet may never more
Tread the stones of Flint-Court or Gunner's green shore,
But wherever they assemble, we are pressing near,
Calling and calling:- could our brothers hear!"

What was it you fought for, whose profit that you died?
Here is Ypres burning and twenty towns beside,
Where is the gain in all our pain when he we loved but now
Is lying still on Sixty Hill, a bullet through his brow?

"He died one thing regarding that is better worth
Than the golden cities of all the kings on earth.
Were right and wrong to choose among, he had seen the right,
Had found the thing appointed and done it with his might."

Thus I muse, regarding, with a pensive eye,
Towered Ypres blazing, beneath the night sky...
This way may lie failure, but Towers there are that stand,
Hence, it may be, guarded, in our own green land.

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C. K. Scott Moncrieff