The Soldier Addresses His Body (1921)
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Links Off
I shall be mad if you get smashed about,
we’ve had good times together, you and I;
although you groused a bit when luck was out,
say a girl turned us down, or we went dry.
But there’s a world of things we haven’t done,
countries not seen, where people do strange things;
eat fish alive, and mimic in the sun
the solemn gestures of their stone-grey kings.
I’ve heard of forests that are dim at noon
where snakes and creepers wrestle all day long;
where vivid beasts grow pale with the full moon,
gibber and cry, and wail a mad old song;
Vodka and kvass, and bitter mountain wines
we’ve never drunk; nor snatched the bursting grapes
to pelt slim girls among Sicilian vines,
who’d flicker through the leaves, faint frolic shapes.
Yes, there’s a world of things we’ve never done,
but it’s a sweat to knock them into rhyme,
let’s have a drink, and give the cards a run
and leave dull verse to the dull peaceful time.
Poem © By kind permission of Dr Jane Grubb