Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WRAITHS, by EDYTHE C. TONER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE WRAITHS, by            
First Line: Hosts of the martyred dead!
Last Line: "thus die ... Thus die?"
Subject(s): Death; Ghosts; Social Protest; Soldiers; Supernatural; War; Youth; Dead, The

Hosts of the martyred dead!
In dreams I see them pass—
Pale, wistful shadows
In their march
Upon the soundless grass.
And gleaming with the lustre
Of a star strewn sky,
I see long rows
Of glistening stones
Which mark the place of rest
Of these
Who now pass by!

I hear no sound of music
But a muffled drum
Beating a slow retreat. ...
A bugle in the distance
Calling: "Come!"
And back in the void they go,
These sad, reproachful young
And silent wraiths.

Then: From out the cool-gray depths
Of darkling forest glen
Which held these lads
Within its drear retreat
I hear a cry!
Ceaseless ... Moaning ... Wavering
... As the eternal billows' hollow beat
Upon the shore which bounds
The longing Sea
From out the melancholy distance
Floating ... Echoing ... Sighing
... Back to me!
"Why ... Why ... Why ...
Should we who were so young
And so in love with life,
Thus die ... Thus die?"

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