Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - Suvla Bay

"Suvla Bay" by W. H. Littlejohn 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 eleven poems featured within the Loving and Living section of the collection.

You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.

Suvla Bay
by W. H. Littlejohn

Old rose and black and indigo,
Saffron streaks in a spume-tipped grey,
Purple, laved in the dawn's wan glow -
God, how fair you are, Suvla Bay!

Spitting shrapnel and shrieking steel,
Brave men dead in their youth's noonday,
All the anguish their loved ones feel
Is your ambrose, fair Suvla Bay!

Stabbing sun from a brazen sky,
Choking dust from the corpse-strewn way,
Each one treads as he marches by,-
God, how I loathe you, Suvla Bay!

Tanned men delving with laboured breath,
Stinking lighters discharging hay,
Grey-hulled battleships belching death,
God, there's work on at Suvla Bay!

Pale, pale moon and the cold north star,
You who watch while I kneel and pray,
Take to her in the northland far
One sobbing prayer from Suvla Bay!

One sobbing prayer that the dull heart-pain
God in heav'n Thou alone canst stay,
For her be stilled till I come again
Back to her side from Suvla Bay!

"Devil Dogs" was the nickname given to the U.S. Marines by the German Army.

- Did you know?

Muse in Arms

Loving and Living