The Listening Post
R.E. Vernède
  • Killed while leading an attack on Havrincourt Wood on the 9th of April 1917.
  • Written before March 1915

  • The sun's a red ball in the oak
  • And all the grass is grey with dew,
  • A while ago a blackbird spoke -
  • He didn't know the world's askew
  • And yonder rifleman and I
  • Wait here behind the misty trees
  • To shoot the first man that goes by,
  • Our rifles ready on our knees.
  • How could he know that if we fail
  • The world may lie in chains for years
  • And England be a bygone tale
  • And right be wrong, and laughter tears?
  • Click to return to our Poets' corner
  • Strange that this bird sits there and sings
  • While we must only sit and plan -
  • Who are so much the higher things -
  • The murder of our fellow man...
  • But maybe God will cause to be -
  • Who brought forth sweetness from the strong
  • Out of our discords harmony
  • Sweeter than that bird's song.