The Silent Camp
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.
This poem is in the public domain.