Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Poems used at start of chapters in "Diary of an Unprofessional Sol


Recommended Posts

I've been working through the excellent "Diary of an Unprofessional Soldier" trying to work out for the sources of the poems which Capt. T A H Nash used to start (and sometimes finish) each chapter. Most have been traced using Google (other search engines are available), but the following texts have eluded me> if anyone recognises any of them, please shout!

Thanks, Stuart

If men should ask, I would not have you say

I went with ringing laughter in my eyes,

Caught by the glamour of a high emprise

And the imagined triumphs of the day.

A month ago they marched to fight,

Away ’twixt the woodland and the sown,

I walked that lonely road tonight

And yet I could not feel alone. (2 further verses)

The ’ireling soldier earns his bit of fame, poor blighter:

Takes ’ardish knocks and likewise gives the same;

Gets offered up on other blokes’ behalf –

A bloomin’ scapegoat, not no fatted calf –

(11 more lines)

They take my man and give me a dole

That so I may be fed;

But they do not pay for the heavy toll

They take from the love and peace of my soul

As I brood and pray he may not be dead.

(2 further verses)

These are the newly dead

Who lie

So stiff, so strangely still;

Their last look frozen on their pallid mask

And their dull eyes so pale –

Like china, staring pale –

The shattered dead;

Poor tortured wrecks

Of once such lovely form;

How can I write of them

Who are so hideous as to be obscene;

My eyes burn hot with sad and angry tears;

Poor Horrors!

What can expiate the crime

Of all these ruined shrines?

Fair temples of the Gods.

Oh, then the piteous little ones

Whose breath

Has passed full many days. . . .

Ah, God,

Pity the unburied Dead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm afraid I haven't the time to investigate at the moment, and I don't recognise any of them straight off (though the last one makes me think of Isaac Rosenberg for some reason) - but you could try posting them in the "Lost Quotes" section of the Poety Library's online site:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! I've given that a try.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

just remembered - try Google Books as opposed to just ordinary google search. Sometimes picks up phrases.

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...