Sunday, 10 December 2017

Sunday WW1 Remembered..




Poems written in 1917


Servitude

by

Ivor Gurney


If it were not for England, who would bear

This heavy servitude one moment more?

To keep a brothel, sweep and wash the floor

Of filthiest hovels were noble to compare

With this brass-cleaning life. Now here, now there

Harried in foolishness, scanned curiously o'er

By fools made brazen by conceit, and store

Of antique witticisms thin and bare.



Only the love of comrades sweetens all,

Whose laughing spirit will not be outdone.

As night-watching men wait for the sun

To hearten them, so wait I on such boys

As neither brass nor Hell-fire may appal,

Nor guns, nor sergeant-major's bluster and noise.

1917


Ivor Gurney was a chorister at Gloucester Cathedral and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. At the outbreak of war he volunteered as a private in the Gloucestershire regiment but was initially turned down because of poor eyesight. 

 He joined the 2nd and 5th Gloucestershire regiment in 1915.


 He was wounded and gassed in 1917 while serving in France.




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