Saturday, November 5, 2016

School Days Weren't All That Bad

In passing the da's ever-on telly today I heard the words, 'by sundown' and this poem from my school days came back to me, word for word, in its entirety. (High five, brain.) And it's still a favourite, to this day.

The Conquerors

By sundown we came to a hidden village
Where all the air was still
And no sound met our tired ears, save
For the sorry drip of rain from blackened trees
And the melancholy song of swinging gates.

Then through a broken pane some of us saw
A dead bird in a rusting cage, still
Pressing his thin, tattered breast against the bars
His beak wide open.
And as we hurried through the weed-grown street
A gaunt dog started out from some dark place
And shambled off on legs as thin as sticks
Into the woods to die at least in peace.

No one had told us victory was like this;
There was not one amongst us who'd have eaten bread
Before he'd filled the mouth of the grey child
That sprawled stiff as a stone before the shattered door.
There was not one who did not think of home.

by Henry Treece

Any other favourites out there?

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