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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Houston Larmour Doak (1890–1953)

Poems of the Great War: On Leave

HOME is thy son again. Didst thou

Fear for the fearless? His to-night

The hues of health, the sunburnt brow,

Laughter, and unalloyed delight.

Surely remote and dreamlike are

The sweat, the danger, and the pain;

Upon his brow no battle scar,

No dread within his inmost brain.

Let none but happy tears bedim

Thine eye, lest he be sad for thee,

And yet—ah, God!—For over him

What nameless shadow dost thou see?

Is it that under shell-swept skies

His life has hung upon a breath?

Or can it be, those smiling eyes

Have stared into the eyes of Death?

Mother of him, thou readest not

The secret of thy son’s distress:

“To-morrow—and a random shot

May bow her head in loneliness.”