Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - Light After Darkness

"Light After Darkness" by E. Wyndham Tennant First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:

"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".

Below is one of fifteen poems featured within the Battle Pieces section of the collection.  You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.

Light After Darkness
by E. Wyndham Tennant
(Hulluch Road, October 1915)

Once more the Night, like some great dark drop-scene
Eclipsing horrors for a brief entr'acte,
Descends, lead-weighty.  Now the space between,
Fringed with the eager eyes of men, is racked
By spark-tailed lights, curvetting far and high,
Swift smoke-flecked coursers, raking the black sky.

And as each sinks in ashes grey, one more
Rises to fall, and so through all the hours
They strive like petty empires by the score,
Each confident of its success and powers,
And, hovering at its zenith, each will show
Pale, rigid faces, lying dead, below.

There shall they lie, tainting the innocent air,
Until the dawn, deep veiled in mournful grey,
Sadly and quietly shall lay them bare,
The broken heralds of a doleful day.

Panzer was a term used to describe a German tank.

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