Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LES HALLES D'YPRES, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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LES HALLES D'YPRES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A tangle of iron rods and spluttered beams
Last Line: And flicker in playful flight.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): World War I; First World War


A TANGLE of iron rods and spluttered beams,
On brickwork past the skill of a mason to mend:
A wall with a bright blue poster -- odd as dreams
Is the city's latter end.

A shapeless obelisk looms Saint Martin's spire,
Now a lean aiming-mark for the German guns;
And the Cloth Hall crouches beside, disfigured with fire,
The glory of Flanders once.

Only the foursquare tower still bears the trace
Of beauty that was, and strong embattled age,
And gilded ceremonies and pride of place --
Before this senseless rage.

And still you may see (below the noon serene,
The mysterious, changeless vault of sharp blue light),
The pigeons come to the tower, and flaunt and preen,
And flicker in playful flight.





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