Ivor Gurney, "The Bohemians"

The Bohemians Certain people would not clean their buttons,Nor polish buckles after latest fashions,Preferred their hair long, putties comfortable,Barely escaping hanging, indeed hardly able;In Bridge and smoking without army cautionsSpending hours that sped like evil for quickness,(While others burnished brasses, earned promotions)These were those ones who jested in the trench,While others argued of army ways, […]

Ivor Gurney, "The Silent One"

The Silent One Who died on the wires, and hung there, one of two–Who for his hours of life had chattered throughInfinite lovely chatter of Bucksaccent:Yet faced unbroken wires; stepped over, and wentA noble fool, faithful to his stripes –and ended.But I weak, hungry, and willing only for the chanceOf line–to fight in the line, […]

Ivor Gurney, "Strange Hells"

Strange Hells There are strange Hells within the minds War made Not so often, not so humiliating afraid As one would have expected – the racket and fear guns made. One Hell the Gloucester soldiers they quite put out; Their first bombardment, when in combined black shoutOf fury, guns aligned, they ducked low their heads […]

Ivor Gurney, "Pain"

Pain Pain, pain continual; pain unending;Hard even to the roughest, but to thoseHungry for beauty…Not the wisest knows,Nor most pitiful-hearted, what the wendingOf one hour’s way meant. Grey monotony lendingWeight to the grey skies, grey mud where goesAn army of grey bedrenched scarecrows in rowsCareless at last of cruellest Fate-sending.Seeing the pitiful eyes of men […]