From ‘W’ Beach
The Isle of Imbros, set in turquoise blue,
Lies to the westward; on the eastern side
The purple hills of Asia fade from view,
And rolling battleships at anchor ride.
White flocks of cloud float by, the sunset glows,
And dipping gulls fleck a slow-waking sea,
Where dim steel-shadowed forms with foaming bows
Wind up in the Narrows towards Gallipoli.
No colour breaks this tongue of barren land
Save where a group of huddled tents gleams white;
Before me ugly shapes like spectres stand,
And wooden crosses cleave the waning light.
Now the sky gardeners speed the hurrying day
And sow the plains of night with silver grain;
So shall this transient havoc fade away
And the proud cape be beautiful again.
Laden with figs and olives, or a freight
Of purple grapes, tanned singing men shall row,
Chanting wild songs of how Eternal Fate
Withstood that fierce invasion long ago.
–Geoffrey Dearmer, 1915