Soldier poets, songs of the fighting men/George C. Michael

Soldier poets, songs of the fighting men  (1916) 
George C. Michael, Lance-Corporal, R.E.


Lance-Corporal, R.E.

An April Song[1]

ORCHARD land! Orchard land!
Damson blossom, primrose bloom:
Avon, like a silver band
Winds from Stratford down to Broome:
All the orchards shimmer white
For an April day's delight:
We have risen in our might,
Left this land we love, to fight,
Fighting still, that these may stand,
Orchard land! Orchard land!

Running stream! Running stream!
Ruddy tench and silver perch:
Shakespeare loved the water's gleam
Sparkling on by Welford church:
Water fay meets woodland gnome
Where the silver eddies foam
Thro' the richly scented loam:
We are fain to see our home,
See again thy silver gleam,
Running stream! Running stream!

Silver throats! Silver throats!
Piping blackbird, trilling thrush:
Shakespeare heard your merry notes;
Still you herald morning's blush:
You shall sing your anthems grand
When we've finished what He planned,
God will hear and understand,
God will give us back our land
Where the water-lily floats,
Silver throats! Silver throats!

  1. Written on leave at Stratford-on-Avon.