France
by Siegfried Sassoon
[from The Old Huntsman and Other Poems, 1918]

She triumphs, in the vivid green
Where sun and quivering foliage meet;
And in each soldier’s heart serene;
When death stood near them they have seen
The radiant forests where her feet
Move on a breeze of silver sheen.

And they are fortunate, who fight
For gleaming landscapes swept and shafted
And crowned by cloud pavilions white;
Hearing such harmonies as might
Only from Heaven be downward wafted–
Voices of victory and delight.


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