1892 - 1962
The long autumn grass under my body
Soaks my clothes with its dew;
Where my knees press into the ground
I can feel the damp earth.
In my nostrils is the smell of the crushed grass,
Wet pine-cones and bark.
Through the great bronze pine trunks
Glitters a silver segment of road.
Interminable squadrons of silver and blue horses
Pace in long ranks the blank fields of heaven.
There is no sound;
The wind hisses gently through the pine needles;
The flutter of a finch's wings about my head
Is like distant thunder,
And the shrill cry of a mosquito
Sounds loud and close.
I am 'to fire at the enemy column
After it has passed' -
But my obsolete rifle, loaded with 'blank',
Lies untouched before me,
My spirit follows after the gliding clouds,
And my lips murmur of the mother of beauty
Standing breast-high, in golden broom
Among the blue pine-woods!
'Richard' Aldington christened Edward Godfree Aldington was an English writer and poet . He was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, on July 8, 1892. At an early age, he moved with his mother, Jesse May, and father, middle-class lawyer Albert Edward Aldington, to Dover. There he grew up with his sister Margery and attended preparatory schools, after which he studied for four years at Dover College.
Aldington was commissioned as a second Lieutenant in the Royal Sussex Regiment and served on the Western Front, 1916-1918