Verse > Anthologies > George Herbert Clarke, ed. > A Treasury of War Poetry
George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953).  A Treasury of War Poetry.  1917.
97. The Beach Road by the Wood
By Geoffrey Howard
I KNOW a beach road,
    A road where I would go,
It runs up northward
    From Cooden Bay to Hoe;
And there, in the High Woods,        5
    Daffodils grow.
And whoever walks along there
    Stops short and sees,
By the moist tree-roots
    In a clearing of the trees,        10
Yellow great battalions of them,
    Blowing in the breeze.
While the spring sun brightens,
    And the dull sky clears,
They blow their golden trumpets,        15
    Those golden trumpeteers!
They blow their golden trumpets
    And they shake their glancing spears.
And all the rocking beech-trees
    Are bright with buds again,        20
And the green and open spaces
    Are greener after rain,
And far to southward one can hear
    The sullen, moaning rain.
Once before I die        25
    I will leave the town behind,
The loud town, the dark town
    That cramps and chills the mind,
And I’ll stand again bareheaded there
    In the sunlight and the wind.        30
Yes, I shall stand
    Where as a boy I stood
Above the dykes and levels
    In the beach road by the wood,
And I’ll smell again the sea breeze,        35
    Salt and harsh and good.
And there shall rise to me
    From that consecrated ground
The old dreams, the lost dreams
    That years and cares have drowned:        40
Welling up within me
    And above me and around
The song that I could never sing
    And the face I never found.


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