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George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953). A Treasury of War Poetry. 1917.

Will H. Ogilvie


WITH arrows on their quarters and with numbers on their hoofs,

With the trampling sound of twenty that re-echoes in the roofs,

Low of crest and dull of coat, wan and wild of eye,

Through our English village the Canadians go by.

Shying at a passing cart, swerving from a car,

Tossing up an anxious head to flaunt a snowy star,

Racking at a Yankee gait, reaching at the rein,

Twenty raw Canadians are tasting life again!

Hollow-necked and hollow-flanked, lean of rib and hip,

Strained and sick and weary with the wallow of the ship,

Glad to smell the turf again, hear the robin’s call,

Tread again the country road they lost at Montreal!

Fate may bring them dule and woe; better steeds than they

Sleep beside the English guns a hundred leagues away;

But till war hath need of them, lightly lie their reins,

Softly fall the feet of them along the English lanes.