Verse > Anthologies > George Herbert Clarke, ed. > A Treasury of War Poetry
George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953).  A Treasury of War Poetry.  1917.
68. Thomas of the Light Heart
By Owen Seaman
FACING the guns, he jokes as well
    As any Judge upon the Bench;
Between the crash of shell and shell
    His laughter rings along the trench;
He seems immensely tickled by a        5
Projectile which he calls a “Black Maria.”
He whistles down the day-long road,
    And, when the chilly shadows fall
And heavier hangs the weary load,
    Is he down-hearted? Not at all.        10
’T is then he takes a light and airy
View of the tedious route to Tipperary.
His songs are not exactly hymns;
    He never learned them in the choir;
And yet they brace his dragging limbs        15
    Although they miss the sacred fire;
Although his choice and cherished gems
Do not include “The Watch upon the Thames.”
He takes to fighting as a game;
    He does no talking, through his hat,        20
Of holy missions; all the same
    He has his faith—be sure of that;
He’ll not disgrace his sporting breed,
Nor play what is n’t cricket. There’s his creed.
  October, 1914


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