A Highland Regiment/The Volunteer

I TOOK my heart from the fire of love,
Molten and warm not yet shaped clear.
And tempered it to steel of proof
Upon the anvil-block of fear.

With steady hammer-strokes I made
A weapon ready for the fight,

And fashioned like a dagger-blade
Narrow and pitiless and bright.

Cleanly and tearlessly it slew,
But as the heavy days went on

The fire that once had warmed it grew
Duller, and presently was gone.

Oh, innocence and lost desire,
I strive to kindle you in vain,

Dead embers of a greying fire.
I cannot melt my heart again.

1914-1916