Patriotic pieces from the Great War/Off Duty
The night is full of magic, and the moonlit dewdrops glisten
Where the blossoms close in slumber and the questing bullets pass—
Where the bullets hit the level I can hear them as I listen,
Like a little cricket concert, chirping chorus in the grass.
In the dug-out by the traverse there's a candle-flame a-winking
And the fireflies on the sandbags have their torches all aflame.
As I watch them in the moonlight, sure, I cannot keep from thinking,
That the world I knew and this one carry on the very same.
Look! A gun flash to the eastward! "Cover, matey! Under cover!
Don't you know the flash of danger? You should know that signal well;
You can hear it as it's coming. There it passes; swooping over.
There's a threat of desolation in the passing of a shell."
Little spears of grass are waving, decked with jewels iridescent—
Hark! A man on watch is stricken—I can hear his dying moan—
Lies a road across the starland near the wan and waning crescent,
Where a sentinel off-duty goes to reach his Maker's Throne.