Patriotic pieces from the Great War/Asleep by the Irish Sea


Permission of the author

To France! How many weary miles,
Dear lads, it seemed! but only smiles
We flung to speed your brave Crusade,
Why stain with tears your accolade?
But, ah, we feared the swirling foam!
The wail of winds that sob and moan!

In dreams, that stirred the lonely night,
We saw the flash of steel's white light,
We heard the cry of men at bay,
In anguish watched the dreadful fray.
We saw, in dreams, the fields run red,
We groped in fear 'mid tumbled dead.

Gone now our hopes and dreams and fears,
We live with grief that stabs and sears,
Yours not the trench—the blinding flame,
Not yours the scarlet road to fame.
Yours but to stand, with quickened breath,
At grave salute—to challenge Death.

Yours but to close Life's doors, swung wide,
And cross, with song, the Great Divide!
Sweetly you rest, by Larne's gray sea,
The booming surf your threnody.
Sleep on, brave lads! A world set free,
Shall thy immortal guerdon be!