No News From The War
I.— At The Camp.
by Augusta Davies Webster
'IS she sitting in the meadow
Where the brook leaps to the mill,
Leaning low against the poplar,
Dreamily and still?
Now, with joined hands, grave, now smiling,
Gathering now and then
From her lap her woodland darlings,
Pale sweet cyclamen?
Sitting as she sat that evening,
Trying to feel that sweet same
Who was waiting me and knew not,
Feel as when I came?
Feel again the strange shy newness,
The betrothing one first kiss?
Oh, my own, you are remembering
In an hour like this.'
II.— In The Meadow.
'HERE, here it was he made me promise him;
He stood beneath that branch; here was his seat,
Just where the bole's shade makes the sunlights dim,
Beside me, at my feet.
Ah, since, so many times we have sat here:
And who can tell when that shall be again?
My love! my love!—But what have I to fear?
Could prayers like mine be vain?
He will not fall, my hero; he will come
Bringing ripe honours more to honour me;
He will come scatheless back, and tell his home
He helped to keep it free.
Oh, love! I was so proud of you before,
How can I be so much much prouder now?
And how can I grow prouder more and more?
Ah! but my heart knows how.'
III.— From A Special Correspondent's Letter.
'AND still no news to matter. Fights each day;
Hundreds of killed and wounded; but we wait
This great impending battle which, they say,
Will be more terrible even than the late.
It must come soon: to-morrow it might be.
Now, since I can tell nothing, let me give
An incident, merely to make you see
How near to death all of us here must live.
This morning, on my chosen slope, from whence
My watch, I thought, was safe, I chanced to see
A young and stalwart captain leap a fence
To pluck a cyclamen, not far from me,
Which made me note his face: this afternoon
On that same slope I saw his body lie
Among a dozen. Well, you may look soon
For tidings of some moment. Now, good-bye.'