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Poem by Robert William Service


The Stretcher-Bearer


My stretcher is one scarlet stain,
   And as I tries to scrape it clean,
I tell you wot Ч I'm sick with pain
   For all I've 'eard, for all I've seen;
Around me is the 'ellish night,
   And as the war's red rim I trace,
I wonder if in 'Eaven's height,
   Our God don't turn away 'Is Face.

I don't care 'oose the Crime may be;
   I 'olds no brief for kin or clan;
I 'ymns no 'ate: I only see
   As man destroys his brother man;
I waves no flag: I only know,
   As 'ere beside the dead I wait,
A million 'earts is weighed with woe,
   A million 'omes is desolate.

In drippin' darkness, far and near,
   All night I've sought them woeful ones.
Dawn shudders up and still I 'ear
   The crimson chorus of the guns.
Look! like a ball of blood the sun
   'Angs o'er the scene of wrath and wrong. . . .
"Quick! Stretcher-bearers on the run!"
   O Prince of Peace! 'ow long, 'ow long?



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Pullman Porter
  2. The Three Voices
  3. The Missal Makers
  4. Trees against the Sky
  5. The Search (Happiness, a-roving round)


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