War, the Liberator, and Other Pieces/Beaumont-Hamel


Captured, November 16th, 1916

DEAD men at Beaumont
In the mud and rain,
You that were so warm once,
Flesh and blood and brain,
You’ve made an end of dying,
Hurts and cold and crying,
And all but quiet lying
Easeful after pain.

Dead men at Beaumont,
Do you dream at all
When the leaves of summer
Ripen to their fall?
Will you walk the heather,
Feel the Northern weather,
Wind and sun together,
Hear the grouse-cock call?

Maybe in the night-time
A shepherd boy will see
Dead men, and ghastly,
Kilted to the knee,
Fresh from new blood-shedding,
With airy footsteps treading,
Hill and field and steading,
Where they used to be.

Nay, not so I see you,
Dead friends of mine;
But like a dying pibroch
From the battle-line
I hear your laughter ringing,
And the sweet songs you’re singing,
And the keen words winging
Across the smoke and wine.

So we still shall see you,
Be it peace or war,
Still in all adventures
You shall go before,
And our children dreaming,
Shall see your bayonets gleaming,
Scotland’s warriors streaming
Forward evermore.