A Requiem


A Requiem
Willly Stower, German U-21 sinking Linda Blanche, 1915

For Soldiers Lost in Ocean Transports!

When, after storms that woodlands rue,
  To valleys comes atoning dawn,
The robins blithe their orchard-sports renew;
  And meadow-larks, no more withdrawn
Caroling fly in the languid blue;
The while, from many a hid recess,
Alert to partake the blessedness,
The pouring mites their airy dance pursue.
  So, after ocean's ghastly gales,
When laughing light of hoyden morning
      Every finny hider wakes—
  From vaults profound swims up with
    glittering scales;
  Through the delightsome sea he sails,
With shoals of shining tiny things
Frolic on every wave that flings
  Against the prow its showery spray;
All creatures joying in the morn,
Save them forever from joyance torn,
  Whose bark was lost where now the
    dolphins play;
Save them that by the fabled shore,
  Down the pale stream are washed away,
Far to the reef of bones are borne;
  And never revisits them the light,
Nor sight of long-sought land and pilot more;
  Nor heed they now the lone bird's flight
Round the lone spar where mid-sea surges


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