April Evening: France, 1916.
O sweet blue eve that seems so loath to die,
Trailing the sunset glory into night,
Within the soft, cool strangeness of thy light,
My heart doth seem to find its sanctuary.
The day doth verge with all its secret care,
The thrush is lilting vespers on the thorn;
In Nature's inner heart seems to be born
A sweet serenity; and over there
Within the shadows of the stealing Night,
Beneath the benison of all her stars
Men, stirr'd to passion by relentless Mars,
Laughing at Death, wage an unceasing fight.
The thunder of the guns, the scream of shells
Now seem to rend the placid evening air:
Yet as the night is lit by many a flare
The thrush his love in one wild lyric tells.
O sweet blue eve! Lingering awhile with thee,
Before the earth with thy sweet dews are wet,
My heart all but thy beauty shall forget
And find itself in thy serenity.