Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WEST FRONT, by ROBERT SEYMOUR BRIDGES



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THE WEST FRONT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: No country know I so well
Last Line: Nor lorn jerusalem.
Alternate Author Name(s): Bridges, Robert+(2)
Subject(s): Masefield, John (1878-1967); Somme, Battle Of The (1916); World War I; First World War


An English Mother, on Looking into Masefield's Old Front Line

No country know I so well
as this landscape of hell.
Why bring you to my pain
these shadow's effigys
Of barb'd wire, riven trees,
the corpse-strewn blasted plain?

And the names—Hebuterne
Bethune and La Bassée—
I have nothing to learn—
Contalmaison, Boisselle,
And one where night and day
my heart would pray and dwell;

A desert sanctuary,
where in holy vigil
Year-long I have held my faith
against th' imaginings
Of horror and agony
in an ordeal above

The tears of suffering
and took aid of angels:
This was the temple of God:
no mortuary of kings
Ever gathered the spoils
of such chivalry and love:

No pilgrim shrine soe'er
hath assembled such prayer—
With rich incense-wafted
ritual and requiem
Not beauteous batter'd Rheims
nor lorn Jerusalem.





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