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The Mourners

Robert Service

I look into the aching womb of night;
    I look across the mist that masks the dead;
The moon is tired and gives but little light,
        The stars have gone to bed.

The earth is sick and seems to breathe with pain;
    A lost wind whimpers in a mangled tree;
I do not see the foul, corpse-cluttered plain,
        The dead I do not see.

The slain I would not see . . . and so I lift
    My eyes from out the shambles where they lie;
When lo! a million woman-faces drift
        Like pale leaves through the sky.

The cheeks of some are channelled deep with tears;
    But some are tearless, with wild eyes that stare
Into the shadow of the coming years
        Of fathomless despair.

And some are young, and some are very old;
    And some are rich, some poor beyond belief;
Yet all are strangely like, set in the mould
        Of everlasting grief.

They fill the vast of Heaven, face on face;
    And then I see one weeping with the rest,
Whose eyes beseech me for a moment's space. . . .
        Oh eyes I love the best!

Nay, I but dream. The sky is all forlorn,
    And there's the plain of battle writhing red:
God pity them, the women-folk who mourn!
        How happy are the dead!

Added: 29 Jun 2002 | Last Read: 18 Oct 2018 9:12 AM | Viewed: 4312 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/5466/ | Viewed on 18 October 2018.
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