Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON SICK LEAVE, 1916, by HAMILTON FISH ARMSTRONG

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ON SICK LEAVE, 1916, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: He limped beneath the arch, across the square
Last Line: That smell which only is where war has been.
Subject(s): Washington Square, New York City; World War I; First World War

He limped beneath the Arch, across the Square,
And through the dazzling shaft of rainbow-air
That blew from where the busy fountain leaped.
For him within that vision-laden cloud
There were no peaceful hills, no valleys loud
With streams, no fields in honeysuckle steeped.

Grim hills there were, emplumed with puffs of smoke—
Valleys there were, where biting guns awoke
Echoes that died amid the eternal din—
Broad honeysuckle-bordered fields there were,
Stamped down by passing troops,—and in the air
That smell which only is where war has been.

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