UNDER the willows; in the trampled maize;
Midst up-torn vines, and shatter’d mulberry rows;
In rice-fields, corn-fields, dykes by dusty ways,
And cottage-crofts, where the gold gourd-flower blows,—
Swathes of Death’s scythe, wielded for two long days—
The dead lie thick and still: foes all at peace with foes.
So many nameless dead ! no meed of glory
For all this blood, so freely pour’d, is theirs;
Yet each life here link’d many in its story
Of hopes and loves and bales, of joys and cares.
Of these unhonour’d sleepers, grim and gory,
Who knows, out of the world how much each with him bears?
These were all sons or sires; husbands or brothers;
Bread-winners, most of them, for homes afar.
This a sick father’s stay; that a blind mother’s;
For him in Paris, ’neath the evening star,
A loving heart its care in labour smothers,
Till taught by arms of price, how far they strike— how far!
Cry! let the poor soul wrestle with the woe
Of that bereavement. Who takes thought of her?
Through the illumined streets the triumphs go;
Under her window waving banners stir,
And shouting crowds to Notre Dame that flow.
Hide, mourner, hide the tears which might such triumph blur!