Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TRENCH RAID NEAR HOOGE, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN

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TRENCH RAID NEAR HOOGE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: At an hour before the rosy-fingered
Last Line: Lit earth and heaven.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): World War I; First World War

AT an hour before the rosy-fingered
Morning should come
To wonder again what meant these sties,
These wailing shots, these glaring eyes,
These moping mum,

Through the black reached strange long rosy fingers
All at one aim
Protending, and bending: down they swept,
Successions of similars after leapt
And bore red flame

To one small ground of the eastern distance,
And thunderous touched.
East then and west false dawns fan-flashed
And shut, and gaped; false thunders clashed.
Who stood and watched

Caught piercing horror from the desperate pit
Which with ten men
Was centre of this. The blood burnt, feeling
The fierce truth there and the last appealing,
"Us? Us? Again?"

Nor rosy dawn at last appearing
Through the icy shade
Might mark without trembling the new deforming
Of earth that had seemed past further storming.
Her fingers played,

One thought, with something of human pity
On six or seven
Whose looks were hard to understand,
But that they ceased to care what hand
Lit earth and heaven.

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