Home > Uncategorized > Jessie Pope: Black, solemn peace is brooding low; peace, still unbroken

Jessie Pope: Black, solemn peace is brooding low; peace, still unbroken

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

British writers on peace and war

Women writers on peace and war

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Jessie Pope
The Silent Camp

(The writer at her most reflective – RR)

In heaven, a pale uncertain star,
Through sullen vapour peeps,
On earth, extended wide and far,
In all the symmetry of war,
A weary army sleeps.

The heavy-hearted pall of night
Obliterates the lines,
Save where a dying camp-fire’s light
Leaps up and flares, a moment bright,
Then once again declines.

Black, solemn peace is brooding low,
Peace, still unbroken, when
There comes a sound, an ebb and flow –
The steady breathing, deep and slow,
Of half-a-million men.

The pregnant dawn is drawing nigh,
The dawn of power or pain;
But now, beneath the mournful sky,
In sleep’s maternal arms they lie
Like children once again.

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