Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RUINS (YPRES, 1917), by GEORGE HERBERT CLARKE

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RUINS (YPRES, 1917), by            
First Line: Ruins of trees whose woeful arms
Last Line: Clay crumbling slow to clay again.
Subject(s): World War I; Ypres, Belgium; First World War

RUINS of trees whose woeful arms
Vainly invoke the sombre sky,—
Stripped, twisted boughs and tortured boles,
Like lost souls,—
How green they grew on the little farms!

Ruins of stricken wall and spire,
Stretched mile on-desolate mile along,—
Ghosts of a life of sweet intent,
Riven and rent
By frantic shell and searching fire.

Ruins of soldiers torn and slain,
English bodies broken for you:
Burned in their hearts the battle-cry!...
Forspent they lie,
Clay crumbling slow to clay again.

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