Sunday, 11 November 2018

Optimism - Alfred Victor Ratcliffe

At last there'll dawn the last of the long year,⁠
⁠Of the long year that seemed to dream no end;
Whose every dawn but turned the world more drear
⁠And slew some hope, or led away some friend.
Or be you dark, or buffeting, or blind,
We care not, Day, but leave not death behind.

The hours that feed on war go heavy-hearted:
⁠Death is no fare wherewith to make hearts fain;
Oh! We are sick to find that they who started
⁠With glamour in their eyes come not again.
O Day, be long and heavy if you will,
But on our hopes set not a bitter heel.

For tiny hopes, like tiny flowers of spring,
⁠Will come, though death and ruin hold the land;
Though storms may roar they may not break the wing
⁠Of the earthed lark whose song is ever bland.
Fell year unpitiful, slow days of scorn,
Your kind shall die, and sweeter days be born.

Alfred Victor Ratcliffe (1887 - 1916) England
Source: The Muse in Arms, edited by E.B. Osbourne, John Murray, 1917

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