Canadian Singers and Their Songs/Alfred Gordon

Canadian Singers and Their Songs  (1919)  edited by Edward S. Caswell
Excerpt from Ballad of the Forty Silent Men by Alfred Gordon

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Day after day no gun had spoken,
Night after night seemed peace unbroken:
But the roads in the faint star-light were black
With business for the great attack.

Night after night, with muffled clanks,
On their bellies crept & crept the tanks;
Stone-still, like Saurian monsters there,
In the silhouette of a sudden flare.

Though neither song nor cigarette
Cheered the regiments as they met,
They cursed so softly, a snapping branch
Seemed like a roaring avalanche.

Back in each forest, wood & spinney,
The trooper smothered the brown mare's whinny,
"Nuzzle your muzzle here, dear lass!
Patience! Patience! The time will pass!

"Soon, lass, soon, we'll ride & ride
With ringing hoofs through the countryside!
Hard on the heels of the flying foe,
As we dreamed we'd ride three years ago!"

Alfred Gordon

from "Ballad of the Forty Silent
Men" in "Vimy Ridge & New Poems"