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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 Mourners

Published by Susan on 07/24/2003 (4419 reads)
I look into the aching womb of night...

I look into the aching womb of night;
   I look across the mist that masks the dead;
The moon is tired and gives but little light,
     The stars have gone to bed.

The earth is sick and seems to breathe with pain;
   A lost wind whimpers in a mangled tree;
I do not see the foul, corpse-cluttered plain,
     The dead I do not see.

The slain I would not see . . . and so I lift
   My eyes from out the shambles where they lie;
When lo! a million woman-faces drift
     Like pale leaves through the sky.

The cheeks of some are channelled deep with tears;
   But some are tearless, with wild eyes that stare
Into the shadow of the coming years
     Of fathomless despair.

And some are young, and some are very old;
   And some are rich, some poor beyond belief;
Yet all are strangely like, set in the mould
     Of everlasting grief.

They fill the vast of Heaven, face on face;
   And then I see one weeping with the rest,
Whose eyes beseech me for a moment's space. . . .
     Oh eyes I love the best!

Nay, I but dream. The sky is all forlorn,
   And there's the plain of battle writhing red:
God pity them, the women-folk who mourn!

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