Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FLANDERS NOW, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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FLANDERS NOW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There, where before no master action struck
Last Line: Of glory save the light in a friend's eye.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): Flanders, Belgium; World War I; First World War


THERE, where before no master action struck
The grim Fate in the face, and cried "What now?",
Where gain and commonplace lay in their ruck,
And pulled the beetroots, milked the muddy cow,
Heard the world's rumours, wished themselves good luck,
And slept, and rose, and lived and died somehow, --

A light is striking keen as angels' spears,
Brightness outwelling, cool as roses, there;
From every crossroad majesty appears,
Each cottage gleams like Athens on the air;
Ghosts by broad daylight, answered not by fears
But bliss unwordable, are walking there.

Who thirsts, or aches, or gropes as going blind?
Friend, drink with me at these fair-foliaged wells,
Or on the bruised life lay this unction kind,
Or mark this light that lives in lily-bells,
There rests and always shall the wandering mind,
Those clumsy farms to-day grow miracles:

Since past each wall and every common mark,
Field path and wooden bridge, there once went by
The flower of manhood, daring the huge dark,
The famished cold, the roaring in the sky;
They died in splendour, these who claimed no spark
Of glory save the light in a friend's eye.





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