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Elizabeth Daryush

Invalid Dawn

Above the grey down
Gather, wan, the glows;
Relieved by leaden
Gleams a star-gang goes;

In the dark valley
Here and there enters
A spark, laggardly,
For the faint watchers
That were there all night -
Factory,station
And hospital light ...
Tired of lamp,star,sun,

Bound to my strait bed
Uncurtained I see
Heaven itself law-led,
Earth in slavery.

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Flanders Fields

Here the scanted daisy glows
Glorious as the carmined rose;
Here the hill-top's verdure mean
Fair is with unfading green;
Here, where sorrow still must tread,
All her graves are garlanded.

And still, O glad passer-by
Of the fields of agony,
Lower laughter's voice, and bare
Thy head in the valley where
Poppies bright and rustling wheat
Are a desert to love's feet.

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The Railroad

Along the iron rails
Plod still with panting power,
Range still the empty trails
Hour after hour;

Stare still where looms ahead
Each signal-skeleton,
Whose jerking arms forbid
Or bid you on,

Whose grim lamps rule the glooms
With stringent red or green—
Forget your sunny home's
Wild-paths between

Primrose and violet,
Your breeze-lit fields of rye...
Your golden sheaves forget—
Forget, or die.

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Subalterns

She said to one: ‘How glows
My heart at the hot thought
Of battle’s glorious throes!’
He said: ‘For us who fought
Are icy memories
That must for ever freeze
The sunny hours they bought.’

She said to one: ‘How light
Must your freed heart be now,
After the heavy fight!”
He said: ‘Well I don’t know…..
The war gave one a shake,
Somehow, knocked one awake…..
Now. life’s so deadly slow.’

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Anger Lay By Me

Anger lay by me all night long,
His breath was hot upon my brow,
He told me of my burning wrong,
All night he talked and would not go.

He stood by me all through the day,
Struck from my hand the book, the pen;
He said: ‘Hear first what I’ve to say,
And sing, if you’ve the heart to, then.’

And can I cast him from my couch?
And can I lock him from my room?
Ah no, his honest words are such
That he’s my true-lord, and my doom.

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You Should at Times Go Out

You should at times go out
from where the faithful kneel,
visit the slums of doubt
and feel what the lost feel;

you should at times walk on,
away from your friends' ways,
go where the scorned have gone,
pass beyond blame and praise;

and at times you should quit
(ah yes) your sunny home,
sadly awhile should sit,
even, in wrong's dark room,

or ever, suddenly,
by simple bliss betrayed,
you shall be forced to flee,
unloved, alone, afraid.

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After Bank Holiday

Now deserted are the roads
Where awhile the lovers went;
Vacant are the field-abodes
Where a vivid hour they spent:
Solemn dark
Broods again in lane and park.

'Tis no matter where are gone
Those warm lives---to halls, maybe,
Festive, or to lodgings lone:
Of the land their tenancy
Now is o'er;
Earth to earth belongs once more.

Gone are they as hourly goes
From the sombre fields of space
Our world, with its little glows—
Passion's ship that has no place,
Leaves no track,
On time's endless ocean black.

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Still-life

Through the open French window the warm sun
Lights up the polished breakfast-table, laid
Round a bowl of crimson roses, for one -
A service of Worcester porcelain, arrayed
Near it a melon, peaches, figs, small hot
Rolls in a napkin, fairy rack of toast,
Butter in ice, high silver coffee-pot,
And, heaped on a salver, the morning's post.

She comes over the lawn, the young heiress,
From her early walk in her garden-wood,
Feeling that life's a table set to bless
Her delicate desires with all that's good.

That even the unopened future lies
Like a love-letter, full of sweet surprise.

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Children of Wealth in your Warm Nursery

Children of wealth in your warm nursery,
Set in the cushioned window-seat to watch
The volleying snow, guarded invisibly
By the clear double pane through which no touch
Untimely penetrates, you cannot tell
What winter means; its cruel truths to you
Are only sound and sight; your citadel
Is safe from feeling, and from knowledge too.

Go down, go out to elemental wrong,
Waste your too round limbs, tan your skin too white;
The glass of comfort, ignorance, seems strong
To-day, and yet perhaps this very night
You'll wake to horror's wrecking fire­your home
Is wired within for this, in every room.

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Unknown Warrior

Not that broad path chose he, which whoso wills
May tread, if he by pay the fatal price,
And for such sweet as earthly life extils,
Slaughter his heaven-born soul in sacrifice.

But he, though loving these, cast yet with strong
Hands all aside, and took the obscure way,
Which few may find, or finding, follow long,-
O let not weak regrets hinder me, nay,

Health, wealth, fame, friendship, all that I hold dear,
I’ll spend, nor seek return, O what dark crown
Be his, he cares not, who thus gives; how near
May hang yet his lost laurels of renown:

Yea, who dares thus die, haply he may see,
Suddenly, unsought immortality.

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