Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Thursday Poem

Potted Flowers with Books IV
Eric Barjot

Joining the Colours
(West Kents, Dublin, 1914)

There they go marching all in step so gay!
Smooth-cheeked and golden, food for shells and guns.
Blithely they go as to a wedding day,
The mothers' sons.

The drab street stares to see them row on row
On the high tram-tops, singing like the lark.
Too careless-gay for courage, singing they go
Into the dark.

With tin whistles, mouth-organs, any noise,
They pipe the way to glory and the grave;
Foolish and young, the gay and golden boys
Love cannot save.

High heart!  High courage!  The poor girls they kissed
Run with them: they shall kiss no more, alas!
Out of the mist they stepped - into the mist
Singing they pass.

Katharine Tynan
(23rd January 1861 - 2nd April 1931)

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