Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BIRD O'ER THE BATTLEFIELD, by ISABEL FISKE CONANT



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BIRD O'ER THE BATTLEFIELD, by            
First Line: Bird o'er the battlefield, singing in the lull of thunder
Last Line: Is it that christ, walking storm-waves of trenches, comes near?
Subject(s): Birds; Soldiers; War; World War I; First World War


Bird o'er the battlefield, singing in lull of the thunder,
What gave you song? Oh, be migrant; be fleet-winged and pass!
Though year to year you have mated and brooded hereunder,
Seek not your safety this spring in this blood-matted grass.

You that last Maytime sang unto the west and its glamor,
Speed while you may, while your wings are unwounded and strong.
Think you to nest in these trenches? This merciless clamor,
Think you to drown its least shrapnel with lyrical song?

Yet, if you stray, like an innocent child in a gutter,
Wounded are here, whose delirium shall hear you, and see
Brooks in the farms of their youth, and whose fever shall mutter
Name of a girl, of a mother, of Christ of the Tree.

What, spite of shrapnel and danger, has made you enraptured?
Seeing and hearing what man may not see and not hear?
Bird o'er the battlefield, what has your tiny heart captured?
Is it that Christ, walking storm-waves of trenches, comes near?





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