St. Pancras Station, August 1915

Vera Brittain - 1893-1970

One long, sweet kiss pressed close upon my lips,
     One moment's rest on your swift-beating heart,
And all was over, for the hour had come
                    For us to part.

A sudden forward motion of the train,
     The world grown dark although the sun still shone,
One last blurred look through aching tear-dimmed eyes—
                    And you were gone.

More by Vera Brittain

To My Brother

(In Memory of July 1, 1916)

Your battle-wounds are scars upon my heart,
     Received when in that grand and tragic "show"
You played your part
     Two years ago,

And silver in the summer morning sun
     I see the symbol of your courage glow—
That Cross you won
     Two years ago.

Though now again you watch the shrapnel fly,
     And hear the guns that daily louder grow,
As in July
     Two years ago,

May you endure to lead the Last Advance
     And with your men pursue the flying foe
As once in France
     Two years ago.

Roundel

("Died of Wounds")

Because you died, I shall not rest again,
     But wander ever through the lone world wide,
Seeking the shadow of a dream grown vain
               Because you died.

I shall spend brief and idle hours beside
     The many lesser loves that still remain,
But find in none my triumph and my pride;

And Disillusion's slow corroding stain
     Will creep upon each quest but newly tried,
For every striving now shall nothing gain
               Because you died.

France,
          February 1918.

A Military Hospital

A mass of human wreckage, drifting in
     Borne on a blood-red tide,
Some never more to brave the stormy sea
     Laid reverently aside,
And some with love restored to sail again
     For regions far and wide.

1st London General Hospital, 1916.