Friday, 17 May 2013

Wartime Poetry from Active Servicemen

If you read my post last night I put a poem in that i thought was lovely but i'd photographed the book and it was not clear.   So today im posting it and others that took our fancy from Tom's new book from 1941.   Below each one is the writer's intials and army number. 

My Favorite

To One at Home

Do not be saddened for my sake,
For I shall keep my tryst with you
Some morning when the dawn shall break
Upon a world where hope is new.
Yes, I shall keep the rendezvous,
Beloved One, which we have made -
And all the past shall fade into
A dim and dream-like cavalcade
Of half-remembered griefs and fears,
Which we shall doubt were ever true -
And love shall fill the golden years
With sweetness - when our pain is through.


I wonder if this soldier made it home to his beloved one to keep their rendezvous?

Tom's Favorite

Song of a Military Surgeon

Behold me, a surgeon! Perhaps you will think
Im a solemn and serious chap;
That my head's full of surgical wisdom and lore,
That i revel in other men's gore
As it drips to the floor from my lap;
And yet I assure you I visibly shrink
At the sight of a mouse in a trap.

The Diggers, I'm sure think my nerves are of steel;
That I'm forceful and strong in my way;
That patients all worship my capable hands;
That the D.M.S. heeds all my strangest demands
An hangs on each word that i say.
Withal, at the dentist's it seems that I feel
As humble and wretched as they.

The orderlies, doubtless, imagine I'm great,
And the Sisters, of course, all agree,
As I don rubber gloves and then pick up a knife
To save some great general's valuable life,
There's no one as brilliant as me.
And yet, in the mess, im reserved and sedate,
And as modest as modest can be.

You'll say that my function in life is to heal
And devotedly tend to the ill;
To give a fresh hope to the halt and the lame,
And even - Oh, Rapture - at last attain fame
By giving my name to a pill.
But can you imagine the sorrow I'll feel
With no Army Forms left to fill.


Were those that were thought to be brave and strong just as scared as those in their command?

Porthole Reverie

Gazin' through my porthole
At the lazy swellin' sea,
Thinkin' hard of distant lands
So far astern of me.
Yes! Thinkin' of a sun-drenched land,
An' rollin' black-soil plains
Where we mustered "clean-skin mickies"
In the months before the rains.

Thinkin' of a homestead
Where the "paper-barks" grow tall,
An' the laughter int he stock-yards
When some "Myall" got a fall.
Ah! Those days were always pleasant,
An' our lives were always free,
When we'd celebrate the brandin'
Up in Darwin on the spree.

Grazin' through my porthole,
At a sea of deepest blue
It's nice to go on dreamin'...
But for me, there's work to do.


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