To an R.I.C. Volunteer-now a Sergeant of the Guards.
Home from the Red Horizon !
From the strain of the firing line,
For a brief respite from the long-drawn fight
I welcome you friend of mine :
Your hand is as steady as ever,
And your glance is undismayed,
As the day you went in your manly pride
To join in the Great Crusade.
Unchanged ! ah no ! though you come
Without ! a scratch or scar,
Yet none may step unchanged from out
The crucible of war :
And you who look so fearlessly
In the dreaded face of death.
Have seen the only thing that counts
In the light of a greater faith.
Abashed i stand. and silent
Because in your eyes i read
Pity for all our petty aims,
Contempt for our worldly greed :
I know the thoughts that into words
Would fain in scorn break,
For hearts beat high with those who fight
For sacred freedom's sake.
Back to the Red Horizon
To the first line trenches back.
My hand to you and my heart with you
In the hour of danger Jack.
But i see in a shattered buckle
The Sign of a Mighty Friend.
And i pray that He Who saved at Loos
May guard you to the end.
Ref : R.I.C. Mag, July, 1916.