Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - To Certain Comrades

"To Certain Comrades" by Ivor Gurney 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 nine poems featured within In Memoriam section of the collection.

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

To Certain Comrades
(E.S. and J.H.)
by Ivor Gurney

Living we loved you, yet withheld our praises
Before your faces.

And though our spirits had you high in honour!
After the English manner,

We said no word. Yet as such comrades would,
You understood.

Such friendship is not touched by death's disaster,
But stands the faster.

And all the shocks and trials of time cannot
Shake it one jot.

Beside the fire at night some far
December We shall remember

And tell men unbegotten as yet the story
Of your sad glory.

Of your plain strength, your truth of heart, your splendid
Coolness - all ended...

All ended! Yet the aching hearts of lovers
Joy over-covers;

Glad in their sorrow, hoping that if they must
Come to the dust,

An ending such as yours may be their portion
And great good fortune.

That if we may not live to serve in peace
England-watching increase -

Then death with you, honoured and swift and high,
And so - Not Die.

An Armlet was a cloth band worn around the arm to identify a particular duty or function.

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Muse in Arms

In Memoriam