War’s Homecoming

We little thought how much they meant– the bleeding hearts of France,
And British mothers wearing black to mark some troop’s advance,
The war was, O, so distant then, the grief so far away,
We couldn’t see the weeping eyes, nor hear the women pray.
We couldn’t sense the weight of woe that rested on that land,
But now our boy is called to go– to-day, we understand.
There, some have heard the blackest news that o’er the wires has sped,
And some are living day by day beneath the clouds of dread;
Some fear the worst; some know the worst, but every heart is chilled,
And every soul is sorrow touched and laughter there is stilled.
There, old folks sit alone and grieve and pray for peace to come,
And now our little boy has heard the summons of the drum.
Their grief was such a distant thing, we made it fruit for speech.
We never thought in days of old such pain our hearts would reach.
We talked of it, as people do of sorrow far aloof,
Nor dreamed such care would ever dwell beneath our happy roof.
But England’s woes are ours to-day, we share the sighs of France;
Our little boy is on the sea with Death to take his chance.
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