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Nina Murdoch

Sing a Song of War-Time

Sing a Song of War-time,
Soldiers marching by,
Crowds of people standing,
Waving them ‘Good-bye’,
When the crowds are over,
Home we go to tea,
Bread and margarine to eat,
War economy!

If I ask for cake or
Jam of any sort,
Nurse says, “What, in War-time?
Archie, cert’nly not!
Life’s not very funny
Now, for little boys,
Haven’t any money.
Can’t buy any toys.

Mummie does the housework,
Can’t get any maid,

[...] Read more

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The Braemar Road

The road that leads to Braemar winds ever in and out.
It wanders here and dawdles there, and trips and turns about
Like a child upon an errand that play has put to rout.
By the road that leads to Braemar, the greybeard poplars stand,
And on the sky's pale tapestry are broidered in a band
With the flashing frosty needle that gleams in winter's hand.
There are haggard apple-orchards on either side the way,
That once flung scented largesse to every summer's day
To mingle with the incense where hot pine-needles lay.
And down the road's long vista the shadows spread like wings
As lightly spun and purple as the shade the evening brings
For circling children's eyelids round with mystic drowsy rings.
The rutty road to Braemar all weather-worn and brown,
Goes tumbling on its journey until it nears the town.
Then with glory of the wattle-bloom its arms are weighted down!
Oh, the long, long road to anywhere seems haply without end,
But who shall call it weary with the love of some good friend
To greet him like the wattle as he turns the final bend!

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Warbrides

There has been wrong done since the world began.
That young men should go out and die in war,
And lie face down in the dust for a brief span,
And be not good to look at anymore.

It is the old men with their crafty eyes
And greedy fingers and their feeble lungs,
Make mischief in the world and are called wise,
And bring war on us with their garrulous tongues.

It is the old men hid in secret rooms,
Feign wisdom while they sign our peace away,
And turn fair meadows into reeking tombs,
And passionate bridegrooms into bloodied clay.

It is the old men should be sent to fight!
The old men grown so wise they have forgot
The touch of mouth on mouth in the still of night,
The tenderness that wedded lovers wot;

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