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This poem is often wrongly thought to be by Robert W Service. It is published here to the memory of Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, its rightful father.
An Evening with the Bard of the Yukon, July 18 th 2003 at 20.30pm in the Town-Hall of Lancieux, Brittany.
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The Stretcher-Bearer

Published by Susan on 07/24/2003 (5036 reads)
My stretcher is one scarlet stain...

My stretcher is one scarlet stain,
  And as I tries to scrape it clean,
I tell you wot -- I'm sick with pain
  For all I've 'eard, for all I've seen;
Around me is the 'ellish night,
  And as the war's red rim I trace,
I wonder if in 'Eaven's height,
   Our God don't turn away 'Is Face.

     I don't care 'oose the Crime may be;
       I 'olds no brief for kin or clan;
     I 'ymns no 'ate: I only see
       As man destroys his brother man;
     I waves no flag: I only know,
       As 'ere beside the dead I wait,
     A million 'earts is weighed with woe,
       A million 'omes is desolate.

In drippin' darkness, far and near,
  All night I've sought them woeful ones.
Dawn shudders up and still I 'ear
  The crimson chorus of the guns.
Look! like a ball of blood the sun
  'Angs o'er the scene of wrath and wrong. . . .
"Quick! Stretcher-bearers on the run!"
  O Prince of Peace! 'ow long, 'ow long?

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