To Her: In Time of War


To Her: In Time of War is a soldier's mournful poem to his lover before he heads into battle. It was published in Nesbit's poetry collection, Many Voices (1922).
To Her: In Time of War
British soldier writing in cow-shed loft near the Front, 1914
Once I made for you songs,
Rondels, triolets, sonnets;
Verse that my love deemed due,
Verse that your love found fair.
Now the wide wings of war
Hang, like a hawk’s, over England,
Shadowing meadows and groves;
And the birds and the lovers are mute.

Yet there’s a thing to say
Before I go into battle,
Not now a poet’s word
But a man’s word to his mate:
Dear, if I come back never,
Be it your pride that we gave
The hope of our hearts, each other,
For the sake of the Hope of the World.


Featured in our collection of World War I Literature


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