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Remembered Today:

Diary of a Dispatch Rider

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12/09/18


Banstead100

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Continuing the diary of John Sangway, dispatch rider. Today's entry is an excerpt from the poem "Solders in a Small Camp" by W.J. Turner.

 

There is a camp upon a rounded hill

Where men do sleep more closely to the stars,

And tree-like shapes stand at its entrances,

Beside the small, dark, shadow-soldiery.

 

There in the awful beauty of the world,

When stars are singing in dark ecstasy,

Those ox-like soldiers sit collected round

A thin metallic echo of human song:

 

And click their feet & clap their hands in time,

And wag their heads, and make the white ghost owl

Flit from its branch – but still those tree-like shapes

Stand like archangels dark-winged in the sky.

 

And presently the soldiers cease to stir;

The thin voice sinks and all at once is dead;

They lie down on their planks & hear the wind,

And feel the darkness fumbling at their souls.

 

Rather good that last bit but the whole thing very unsympathetic towards the rude soldier!

 

Surprised to find no note of doings at Brias [where they had been resting in July]. Must not forget Marthe & Antoinette Theret & the old people the most decent crowd I have yet met.

Edited by Banstead100

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