Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN OLD OLD STORY, by ROYALL HENDERSON SNOW



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AN OLD OLD STORY, by            
First Line: Pierre was lonely
Last Line: And the moon came up: a great white lily.
Subject(s): Farewell; Flowers; Soldiers; Solitude; World War I; Parting; Loneliness; First World War


PIERRE was lonely
As the heart of some stone god
Buried in a sepulchral vault.
He looked at the sun, mouldering
In the grey mud of the skies,
And felt his own heart mouldering.
La Patrie had called and he was answering
With a mouldering heart!
With sick blood that dripped through his veins
Like rain!
At the station were sweet-hearts
Saying good-bye;—and he was alone,
Alone and drifting through a dreary slough of faces.
Someone touched him; he turned.
"Pierre!" she said. .....

And now he was riding north
Through fields that stretched out
Like the petals of a sunflower.
And there was a flower hidden near his heart:
A flower he had stolen from her hair
To be the mate of the one he had stolen from her lips.
There were flowers sprung
Out of the mould in his heart:
Flowers that stroked his soul with cool
Petal-fingers.
Pierre was glad;
Smoke flowers burst out of the engine
And wreathed the train
That swept him to the battle field.
The road over which he marched
Was the stem to a red flower
That hummed with the distant roar of many bees.
Pierre was glad
And so with fierce joy
He tossed at the enemy, bouquets
Of little flame-flowers that vanished quickly
From their smoking stem.
Pierre carried her flower over his heart
And so he was glad when the keen tongues
Of the trumpets,
Like the stamen of brazen lilies,
Sounded, "Charge!" ......

And Pierre still wore a smile,
A little frozen-flower smile,
As the sun sank like a wilting poppy,
And the moon came up: a great white lily.





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