Home > Uncategorized > Robert Buchanan: The moon gleamed on the dreadful drifts of dead

Robert Buchanan: The moon gleamed on the dreadful drifts of dead

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

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Robert Buchanan
From The Changeling

Into the tent where the warrior slept,
She saw on his hand a blood-red stain.
And she kissed the stain again and again
With her cold pure lips, but it would not go!

The Battle-Field

One night she walked with a foot of snow
Thro’ a battle-field; and the Moon on high
Swam thro’ the film of a starry sky,
And the breath of the Moon, like hoar-frost shed,
Gleamed on the dreadful drifts of dead.
Then she saw him standing amid it all
Living and bloody, ghastly and tall,
With a hand on his moaning horse’s mane!
And his face was awful with hate and pain,
And his eyes were mad for beneath him lay,
Quivering there in the pale moonray,
A wounded foe while with red right hand
He held in the air a bloody brand
To cleave him down!
Before his look
One moment the Spirit Mother shook;
He could not hear her, he could not see,
But she shriek’d aloud in her agony!
He glared all round him like one in dread
Of a voice from heaven or a ghost from the dead,
And he sheathed his sword with a shudder soon,
Alone in the light of the lonely Moon . . .
O Moon! immortal Moon!

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