The Vagrant of Time

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

GOING OVER


 

A GIRL'S voice in the night troubled my heart.
Across the roar of the guns, the crash of the shells,
Low and soft as a sigh, clearly I heard it.

Where was the broken parapet, crumbling about me?
Where my shadowy comrades, crouching expectant?

5
A girl’s voice in the dark troubled my heart.

A dream was the ooze of the trench, the wet clay slipping.
A dream the sudden out-flare of the wide-flung Verys.
I saw but a garden of lilacs, a-flower in the dusk.

What was the sergeant saying?—I passed it along.—

10
Did I pass it along? I was breathing the breath of the lilacs.
For a girl’s voice in the night troubled my heart.

Over! How the mud sucks! Vomits red the barrage.
But I am far off in the hush of a garden of lilacs.
For a girl’s voice in the night troubled my heart.

15
Tender and soft as a sigh, clearly I heard it.