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F. V. Branford: Over the Dead


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

British writers on peace and war


F. V. Branford
Over the Dead

Who in the splendour of a simple thought,
Whether for England or her enemies,
Went in the night, and in the morning died;
Each bleeding piece of human earth that lies
Stark to the carrion wind, and groaning cries
For burial – each Jesu crucified –
Hath surely won the thing he dearly bought,
For wrong is right, when wrong is greatly wrought.

Yet is the Nazarene no thigh of Thor,
To play on partial fields the puppet king
Bearing the battle down with bloody hand.
Serene he towers above the gods of war,
A naked man where shells go thundering –
The great unchallenged Lord of No-Man’s Land.

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