Looking Westward


Looking Westward was published in Brittain's collection, Verses of a V.A.D. in 1918.
Looking Westward
Yorkshire Regiment, Battle of Broodseynde Ridge, 1917
“For a while the quiet body
Lies with feet toward the Morn.”
Hymn 499, A. & M.

When I am dead, lay me not looking East,
But towards the verge where daylight sinks to rest,
For my Beloved, who fell in War’s dark year,
Lies in a foreign meadow, facing West.

He does not see the Heavens flushed with dawn,
But flaming through the sunset’s dying gleam;
He is not dazzled by the Morning Star,
But Hesper soothes him with her gentle beam.

He faces not the guns he thrilled to hear,
Nor sees the skyline red with fires of Hell;
He looks for ever towards that dear home land
He loved, but bade a resolute farewell.

So would I, when my hour has come for sleep,
Lie watching where the twilight shades grow grey;
Far sooner would I share with him the Night
Than pass without him to the Splendid Day.

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