George Warren's Poetry

MWarrenGC1580687-190813-02.pdf

Title

George Warren's Poetry

Description

A collection of poetry and prose written by George.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Contributor

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

One book with handwritten annotations

Language

Identifier

MWarrenGC1580687-190813-02

Transcription

24-4-44
[page break]
[underlined] DF Haste [/underlined]
West Lodge.
St Leonards Terr.
[underlined] Chelsea, S.W. [deleted] [indecipherable number] [/deleted] [/undelrined]
X
P/O G.C WARREN,
250, St. Benedicts Rd
Small Heath,
[underlined] BIRMINGHAM, 10. [/underlined]
[page break]
[underlined] Page [/underlined]
[circled 1] Dec 31st (1943)
[circled 5] The Old Bridge. X
[circled 7] Dunkirk
[circled 9] At Sea
[circled 11] Monty’s Moon X
[circled 14] On leaving Snowdonia in Wartime X
[circled 17] Waiting. X
[circled 22] The letter. X
[circled 25] Reverie. X
[circled 27] Mirage.
[circled 29] Anticipation.
[circled 31] Monotony.
[circled 33] Cwm Idwal.
[circled 36] England
[circled 38] Little Boy’s Song
[circled 40] Sunk City of Llys Helig.
[circled 43] Cuckoo & Starling.
[circled 45] Evensong
[circled 47] Realisation. [underlined] Written in bed [/underlined]
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
[circled 1]
[underlined] Dec 31st 1943. [/underlined]
England at peace a while, by lace-fringed seas!
The day is dead, the year is dying too
But rising on the cool December breeze
A symphony of hatred throbs anew.
Winged Death, aloft to strike while you may sleep …
Often you’ve heard us heading from the shore
High where the weaving searchlights softly sweep,
Lost in a far-off glow where cannons roar
[underlined] P.T.O. [/underlined]
[page break]
[circled 2]
Peace on the earth below! …. but what is ours?
Be still a while & gaze into the sky –
Only the moon’s cold face, the beating showers
Only a cool caress as clouds float by.
Hark to our call, for we have learnt so well
That peace you know below must die again;
Our new world lies the other side of Hell!
Our bounty bought with blood, our peace with pain!
[page break]
[circled 3]
Your peace is here, but ours lies far away;
Nightly we seek it when the sunset dies;
It beckons to us all at close of day
And kindles burning hope within our eyes.
But when these well-loved fields are out of sight,
When foreign hate assaults us hour by hour,
Will vows you make sustain us through the night
And find us buoyed & strengthened with their power?
[page break]
[circled 4]
Now there is peace … tomorrow dawns a year
When veils are cast aside, war blazes still –
Vow to be true, to fight for all that’s dear,
And face the coming trials with stronger will!
[page break]
[circled 5]
The Old Bridge
The bridge’s back is bent with age;
I’ve often heard him sigh
And felt his body shake with rage,
When loaded carts roll by.
His wrinkled brow is set with [indecipherable word]
His dusty cheeks are brown;
His boots lie where the mill-wheel turns,
He wears an ivy gown.
His eyes are dimmed with gazing deep
Where homing salmon lie;
Where Summer clouds on blue skies sleep
And piping swallows fly.
[page break]
[circled 6]
He lies & thinks of days he knew,
When many a thieving band
Rose early with the evening dew
To make the traveller stand.
He dreams of nights that he loved best,
When Empire’s martial tread
Oft started fledglings in their next,
And stirred him in his bed.
…. Now children come – a happy throng –
To sail boats from the shore.
The old bridge listens to their song
And he is young once more.
[page break]
[circled 7]
[underlined] Dunkirk [/underlined]
Theirs were the vain ambitions, unplumbed powers
And theirs the fettered minds & parting griefs,
Theirs were the days of wasted, waiting hours
Half-living hopes, half-dead beliefs.
But now a doubly-armoured turret runs
In God & right against a common foe;
Theirs are the deeds that rouse our nation’s Sons
And theirs the debt of gratitude we owe
[page break]
[circled 8]
For now’s their call to serve, their blood to pour,
And theirs the shattered bodies, exiles’ graves,
That hidden lie upon a foreign shore,
Picked by the winds and watered by the waves
Neptune has mocked, as we half-sleeping lay
And heard the snort of porpoise in their leap
Watch silver sharks slide silently away
Or flying fish weave patterns on the deep.
[page break]
[circled 9]
[underlined] At Sea [/underlined]
Tho’ [deleted] se [/deleted] ripples race & tall ships throb with power
While listless pennants hang in sultry air,
The glassy seas are changeless hour by hour,
The skyline clear, inviolate & bare.
Long have we watched a silver band unfold,
Poured from our stern and, bubbling blithely, slips,
Into the haze-soaked seas of shimmering gold
That hang like morning skies behind the ship.
[page break]
[circled 10]
The flying fish, the porpoise in its leap
May mock us, caged, imprisoned as we are
Watching their playful freedom of the deep
Seeing their carefree wanderings from afar.
Then comes the day, in sweltering sun-soaked sky,
The cloud-smudged shore lies [deleted] sleeping [/deleted] shimm’ring [sic] close at hand
And all around in sleep the tall ships lie
At peace within the shelt’ring [sic] arms of land.
[page break]
[circled 11]
Monty’s Moon.
There’s a low, dull, rumbling tremor in the streets of Tripoli,
For the pride of Nazi Germany has sailed across the sea
To where Rommel stands & watches as the armour rumbles by,
With defiance in the glances of his cold determined eye …….
But before the daylight’s ended & the sunset’s embers die
The clouds are laced with silver & the moon rides in the sky.
[underlined] P.T.O. [/underlined]
[circled 12]
[underlined] “Monty’s Moon” (cont) [/underlined]
Monty’s Moon glides over Alamein, above the cannon’s roar,
And the Armoured Corps is rolling back along the arid shore;
While Rommel stands & watches, with still unbroken will
As he thinks of vain ambitions he believes he can fulfil
And he scans the broken [indecipherable word] where the battle rages still,
While the desert moon cuts shadows on each sandy cove & hill.
The low, dull, rumbling tremor is in Tripoli again
With the Panzers streaming westward to seek safety in the plain.
Their eyes are red with watching & they’re worn out in the flight
While still resolute, yet haggard, & tortured with the sight,
Rommel sees their hurried passing under cover of the night
And the desert moon shines down on him & mocks him with its light.
[page break]
[circled 13]
The echo of the barrage roar has died, & silence falls
As the smoke & fumes of battle drift along the harbour walls
And crown the weary armies with an everlasting wreath,
As Monty lifts the sword of war and drives it in the sheath ….
For the desert moon has smiled on him & watched him far beneath
Ashe took the Nazis’ challenge & dashed it in their teeth.
[page break]
[circled 14]
[underlined] On Leaving Snowdonia in Wartime. [/underlined]
Now are the shutters closed, the curtains drawn!
Forgotten or to be forgot the life we knew!
Set is the sun to westward, flaming torn!
Wet are our tears of grief in twilight’s dew.
Around us are the joys that cannot die,
Nor seek the shades of past where memory flees –
Gray lakes that sleep beneath a sullen sky,
And leaves that rustle in a fitful breeze.
[page break]
[circled 15]
Remember days of sunshine – days so bright
That all the crowded peaks in stillness lay
Soft, warm & clear – dark gullies flecked with white
And breeze-fanned ridges stretching far away,
Long chutes of scree where trailing snow-ribs wait
To feel the sunlight’s warm, reluctant peep!
Unending paths through heather, fern & slate –
Lonely abode of buzzard, haunt of sheep.
PTO.
[page break]
[circled 16]
Are these all gone & never to return –
Cool new-born streams from ice – gleams in the break,
The raven’s wheeling glide, the rock strewn burn,
The call of friends across the brimming lake?
The winds on Snowdon sigh a song of sorrow
And LLydaw’s waters mirror clouds of gray.
Beneath, in Glaslyn’s shades, I see tomorrow;
Beyond, in flickering sunlight, yesterday!
[page break]
[circled 17]
[underlined] Waiting. [/underlined]
The moon is clear, & in the darkening sky,
Aflame with gold & scarlet in the west,
The ground-crews hear the wild geese winging by,
To seek the silent shelter of their nest.
Softly the day has died, the sun has set
With starry patters lacing skies of red,
While here they joked & laughed – tried to forget,
Just for a while, the task that lay ahead.
[underlined] PTO. [/underlined]
[page break]
[circled 18]
Briefing was done & silence was no more
The gramaphone [sic] jarred out, some called for beer
And stood in noisy groups around the door,
All anxious for the waiter to appear.
Some smoked in corners, others chatted loud
Or sang & joked, their boyish faces bright,
As eager voices rose from every crowd
And echoed in the stillness of the night.
[page break]
[circled 19]
The kitten that the gunner’s hand caressed
Reminded him of home & pets he knew,
Far from his drift sights, Browning at his chest
And linking fighters pouncing from the blue.
Now they are gone I can close the door
Leaving those unused log-sheets here & there –
Some scattered with the litter on the floor,
Some piled in shapeless heaps upon a chair.
[underlined] PTO [/underlined]
[page break]
[circled 20]
The final thundering dies & silence reigns
The gramaphone [sic] is mute, the kittens sleep,
The room itself seems hushed to hear the planes
That now go purring eastward o’er the deep.
Soon we shall hear no more, all will be still
Save where some far-off watcher hears the roar
As out-bound giants drone across the hill
And hurry, snailing [sic] seaward, from the shore
[page break]
[circled 21]
Piercing the clouds, they leave the coast behind
With lights now dimmed and vanishing from view
And I must only wait & hope to find,
As morning sun comes up, none overdue.
Perhaps I’ll see them climbing into sight,
Then circling low around their mother drome,
As glist’ning [sic] turrets catch the early light
And each one glides towards me, safely home
[page break]
[circled 22]
The Letter.
The letter brought me comfort, as I saw the radiant glow
That she had seen so often sun-gilding, as she stood,
The patchwork of the valley that straggled far below,
And splashing streaks of colour on each meadow, stream & wood
- As if God smiled above it all & knew that it was good.
For me those streamlets rippled thro’ reed & violet bed
In English glades she told me of – aslant the morning light –
I felt the cooling shadow of the boughs above my head,
And watched the glistening mountain range beneath its shawl of white
- And stood, as she had, spellbound as I marvelled at the sight.
[page break]
[circled 23]
Below, the woodsman’s axe – blows reechoed [sic] from afar
And stealing through the thicket came the smell of fresh-wood fire
As they slashed the woodland’s glowing cheeks to leave a lasting scar
While, with her, I stood & wondered – and gazed a little higher
At the mounting smoke-wisp rising like a pale ephemeral spire.
Still & silent near the fledglings, she paints them as she sits
And tells me of their flutterings & games they think unseen
With her I see the blackbirds, hear the piping of the tits
While the morning sun casts beams of light that shimmer on the scene
- And there she is all-smiling & watching from the green.
[page break]
[circled 24]
Sometimes she lies half-sleeping, her head among the ferns.
Near the trout-pool I remember, where the deepest waters flow
And she thinks of me while watching as the droning giant turns
And swoops down in snarling anger [deleted] on the peaceful vale below [/deleted] on the hills I used to know
To tear the veil of silence from the valley far below.
Or poised in furtive motion against a field of blue
Cloud-coursing in another world, slow-passing, crawling by,
She can see the path of others & ponder on the view
Of high-suspended vapour trails aglint against the sky
- Then sadly seal the letter & await a brief reply.
[page break]
[circled 25]
[underlined] Reverie [/underlined]
In dreams I lay and, peering in the air,
My gaze reached far beyond the puny Ken
That bounds the far-flung field of human view
- Beyond the rolling clouds that hovered there,
High in the airy realms unknown to men,
Above the swirling vastness of the blue ………
And there, in billowing space, there lay revealed,
As overawed in silent thought I lay
The road to that far-off Elysean field
Where dwell the bomber-crews of yesterday.
[underlined] PTO [/underlined]
[page break]
[circled 26]
As storm-swept ships that reach their mother shore
Lie rocking in the swell of some lagoon,
There they may rest secure in soothing sleep
- Far from the clawing cannons spiteful roar,
Safe from the writhing searchlights silent sweep,
And soft revealing finger of the moon.
….. But as the daylight faded in the west
And purring vengeance climbed where starlight shone,
The echo reached the haven of the blest –
And when I looked again the road was gone!
But God be merciful & grant them rest
And us the will & strength to carry on
[page break]
[circled 27]
[underlined] MIRAGE [/underlined]
The old Welsh hills are calling;
Their call is loud & clear;
It tells of fir-cones falling
And otters in the weir;
It tells of patient waiting,
Of watch that never fails
In peaceful contemplating
Of far-off Cambrian vales.
The highland lakes are singing
A song that brings to mind
Those mountain sunsets bringing
Night’s shadows close behind,
The heather’s purple tinting
And the pink of twilight snow
With the flash of salmon glinting
In the rocky pools below.
[page break]
[circled 28]
The moorland slopes are telling
A tale that brings back dreams
Of bilberry clusters swelling
By boulder-scattered streams
- Tales of winding rocky walls
And bleak Welsh-mountain lane
That winds across the ridge & falls
To hamlets in the plain.
The curlew’s plaintive crying
Reechoes [sic] through the air
Lamenting summer’s dying
In hollows dark & bare;
The mists hang low in weeping
Through the soft wind’s sighs
And here I lie half-sleeping,
With Wales before my eyes.
[page break]
[circled 29]
[underlined] Anticipation [/underlined]
Tho’ no man dares to say “I’m bound for home”
Lest jealous Fates should chuckle from above,
Some may have seen white headlands flecked with foam
And visions of the England that they love.
In radiant noon, half-sleeping in the heat,
The Irishmen wait patient for that shore
That brings them silver streams, sweet-scented peat
And warm embraces as some cottage door.
[page break]
[circled 30]
In flick’ring [sic] dawn, as throbbing engines turn
And silent ‘neath the stars all else is still
The Scotsman wanders down the rocky burn
That feeds the lake below the fern-clad hill.
In midnight heat, the homesick Welshmen long
For ragged peaks on guard above the plain;
Perhaps they hear the village choir in song
And turning in their hammocks, sleeps again
[page break]
[circled 31]
[underlined] Monotony. [/underlined]
Time is half-dead & every break of day
Is as a curtain-raising on a scene
Of well-worn hopes – a worthless puppet play
And peace alone in dreams that might have been.
Grey dawns have flickered, hesitant & shy
To tinge unwilling East with cloud-laced day;
Slowly the sun has climbed the misty
Drawing aside the haze wisps on her way.
[page break]
[circled 32]
Around, the convoy crawls on seas of light,
Past fleecy clouds that never knew a breeze,
Sailing with wavering course towards the night
That lies beyond the mirror of the seas …..
Beyond the moving glory of the West
Where ruddy clouds are piled on seas of flame;
Into the midnight heat where tired eyes rest
And dream of days to come that are the same
[page break]
[circled 33]
[underlined] Cwm Idwal [/underlined]
Sad, silent hollow – rocky home of peace
Where footsteps seldom nature’s slumb’ring [sic] break
Where crag-cooled winds are calmed and, whimpering, cease
Their frantic tearing at the lower lake.
High-soaring peaks, dark Glyder’s shattered mass
Grey-gilded waters, mirror-like & calm
The winding lane that topples down the pass
Will these still live to haunt me with their charm?
Beyond the falls, the chapel, bridge & farm.
[page break]
[circled 34]
Sweet, silver streams, bedecked with Springtime’s blooms,
Hanging like threads upon the rain-soaked hill,
Moss-coated clefts where foam-flecked water looms
Then hides within the [deleted] lake [/deleted] [inserted] marsh [/inserted] where all is still.
Grey rugged ridges, pointing to the plain,
Like gable-ends or wicked, gnarled & bent;
Green verdant vale I pray I’ll see again
To point my way to Ogwen & content.
[page break]
[circled 35]
Cool evening sun on Dafydd’s misty crest
While graceful Tryfan’s cove in shadow frowns,
As darkness rolls her shroud from out the west
Where night lies wrapped in shadow o’er the towns.
Can I forget these joys I [deleted] love [/deleted] [inserted] know [/inserted] so well
These things in which I found I could believe?
Why must I bid a final, fond farewell
To those [deleted] fao [/deleted] friends I love yet have to leave
When I am gone you’ll know I’ll not forget.
Shout to the winds & make the mountain see
Though I’m afar my thoughts are with them yet;
Tho’ I am gone, I went unwillingly.
[page break]
[circled 36]
England (Bégum [underlined] 1937 [/underlined)
At noon in the heat of an African sun
As I sprawled beneath a palm,
My heart flew back to England’s shore
And her half-remembered charm;
… For, at setting sun on the Dover cliffs,
I gazed enthralled around,
And heard the surf moan far below
And marvelled at the sound
In dreams I lay on a mossy bed
Where the cool breeze softly blew,
With cloudless skies above my head
Where the seagulls homeward flew;
I peered below on the foam-tipped rocks,
Half-screened in the fading, light,
And felt the breakers shake the cliffs,
And marvelled at the sight.
[page break]
[circled 37]
Tho’ now I live in a world unknown
Where the stories seem dull & gray
My heart lives on in a dream that’s flown
In a [deleted] shore [/deleted] [inserted] land [/inserted] that’s far away.
For there in the dusk, as the soft wind blows
And the sea-mists spread their cloaks,
I found my Heaven on England’s shores
And marvel I ever awoke
[page break]
[circled 38]
[underlined] The little boy’s song (Begum Oct 1939)
It’s fun to sit upon a hill
And watch the world below
I see the turning watermill
And cows so small & slow;
And as I sit so very high
I seem so big and tall
With all the people passing by
So elf-like and so small.
But when the day is over
And I am there alone
I lie in scented clover
And think I’m on a throne
For when I gaze out far away
I’m king of all the land
And all the subjects I survey
Must bow to my command
[page break]
[circled 39]
When nurse comes out as shadows fall
I see her far below
And tho’ at first she’s very small
I watch her grow and grow
And when she takes me by the hand
In shame I bow my head
For she is mistress of the land
And rules there in my stead
[page break]
[circled 40]
The sunk City of Llys-Helig.
Upon the hills of Conway, where gentle breezes blow,
I’ve watched the golden shore beneath where silver runnels flow,
In the stillness of the morning I have heard Traeth Lafan weep
And the tide-spent waters sobbing as they hurry to the deep.
For when I see the breakers as they rumble at my feet
I hear the mills of days of old which ground the golden wheat
And when I gaze out seawards, in the glory of the dawn
Lie the fields of old Llys Helig, all rich with waving corn
[page break]
[circled 41]
Sometimes I sit & ponder with the salt-spray in my eyes
And see the coast near Penmaenmawr, while in the morning skies
Soft wisps of gold from Ireland sweep away the sullen night
And mirrored in the wave-tips fill the heaving seas with light
… But then I stand in wonder while the soaring seagulls screech
And watch the fleecy ripples as they ramble up the beach
And seem to see before me, while the foaming waters leap,
The shepherds of Llys Helig with flocks of bleating sheep.
[underlined] PTO [/underlined]
[page break]
[circled 42]
Perhaps with faltering vision my [inserted] tired [/inserted] eyes grew [deleted] a little [/deleted] dimmer
And dreaming back a thousand years my thoughts were far away
As I peered across forgotten lands where sunbeams lay a shimmer
On the streets that knew the footsteps of a far-off yesterday
For the rocks that lie beneath me, beyond the ancient caves
Are spires of old Llys Helig that tower above the waves
And stretching out before me, [deleted] as far as I can see [/deleted] [inserted] in stately majesty [/inserted]
Lies the town that nestled round them – asleep beneath the sea.
[page break]
[circled 43]
(1933)
[underlined] The Cuckoo & the Starling [/underlined]
The cuckoo met the starling & straightway the former spoke
And asked for information about the city folk.
“What say they”, was the cuckoo’s plea,
“What say they of our melody?”
“What think they of the nightingale?”
“To praise his song they never fail”
“What of the lark?” the cuckoo cried.
“Most love his song,” his friend replied.
“What of the blackbird – tell me true?”
“To praise his song there are a few”
……
The cuckoo paused, then cautiously
“One question [deleted] [indecipherable word] [/deleted] more I ask”, cried he
Then he flew up to the starling – and hope shone in his eye
As he asked if people loved him, and awaited a reply
… But the starling answered softly that he hadn’t any fame
[page break]
[circled 44]
And through all his many wanderings he had never heard his name
… Then the cuckoo promised vengeance, & he swore he would repay
And would chant his name unceasingly from dawn to dusk each day
.. So if ever you should hear him, don’t forget a word of praise
And he’ll feel we don’t ignore him as we did in olden days.
[page break]
[circled 45]
Evensong (1934)
Go now, sweet fisher boy with pliant care,
The miller calls, & tho’ I have you stay
There is the rushing torrents as they prance,
- See how the silver ripples turn to gray
And grow, and blush beneath the day’s last glance
And seek the bank & then roll back again.
Be gone, my boy, too long upon the foam
You cast unceasingly your downy fly
But now the chill night wind through rushes whines
And whispers in the trees & hurries by
[page break]
[circled 46]
While moving lanterns swing among the pines
Like lamp-lit schooners reeling gladly home.
Farewell, my child, for with the close of day
I’ll gaze into these rocky pools and see
A world of clouds where trees like phantoms stand
Where finely-patterned stars wink up at me
And there I’ll gaze & gaze – and in that land
I’ll toss my cares & watch them drift away
[page break]
47.
[underlined] Realisation [/underlined] (Harrogate Feb. 1944)
I shall remember always how the sight of lone green hills,
With slowly moving cloudlets on the blue sky arched above,
Lay mirrored & reflected in the hundred tiny rills
That bubble from the lakes and tarns of hollows that I love
I shall remember always how the valleys looked so green,
How the breeze the rippling heather [deleted] and the fragrant scent of thyme [/deleted] [inserted] on the crags I loved to climb [/inserted]
And all the moving beauty of that chaste & lovely scene,
Meant more than man’s short journey on the sparing stream of time
[page break]
(Millom)
Slowly I lift my heavy eyes & gaze out out [sic] half asleep
At a world for-ever changing where a thousand colours mix,
- The stupid, startled scramble of the grey-stained ragged sheep,
And while lambs against the carving of the close-cropped russet ricks.
Beyond the moistened curtain of the fevered land of dreams,
Through the ruffled veil of curving wires that slowly heaves & falls,
I can see fresh rushes bending in the ponds & woodland streams,
And, primrose plashed & cowslip clothed, the banks & rocky walls
[page break]
The pinky clouds of cherry-blossom boast of Summer’s fruits,
While high in windy solitude the rooks caw round the trees,
And Spring smiles up triumphant from a cornfield’s first green shoots,
That glisten int eh sunlight beneath the morning breeze.
But still the ploughshare turns the soil, and moulds it to man’s will,
While here & there the fresh-flung earth is scattered with he grain,
As expert hands plunge in the sack upon the dull-brown hill,
And the sower treads unhurried in a shower of golden rain.
[page break]
The rhythmic beating [deleted] ceases, the [/deleted] falters and slowly fades & stops,
[deleted] As the moving picture [/deleted]
Sleep wipes the moving picture from the steaming windowpane
The novel lies unheeded and the tired eyelid drops,
While my head is rocked in dreaming by the swaying of the train
And I lay back in the grass, watching a big hawk ride the up currents below the top of the crags.
[page break]
God grant me just one sortie from these shores
That all my fevered efforts be no vain
Then let man’s trouble agony be done
As soon as night is match & right [deleted] peace [/deleted] is wone
Then grant grant [sic] the joys that peace alone restores
And let me live again
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
Since I last saw the blue hills sink low beneath the main
And prayed that I might see them slow rising up once more
The Spring has scattered poppies in the cornfields on the plain
Summer has swept the hollows where the snow-ribs shone before
And Autumn quenched the gorse-glow that blazed the lakeland shore
- A world was born & blighted, a [underlined] world I never saw. [/underlined]
Now ice-fringed, wrapped in Slumber, the lake lies drear & still
The heather on the moorland is [deleted] withered [/deleted] has faded is gone
And spreading sparkling tresses along the rolling hill
The snowflakes whirl about me, where late the sunlight shone
And willows weep & wither, but comfort is there none
- Time touches, tends & tramples & all that was is gone.
[page break]
The raven rises ragged against a sky of grey
The curlew call is silenced, each fledgling brood has flown
The sheep lie cold & clustered in the valleys far away
And broad & bare the hollows that the roving flock had known
The bracken dead or fading, the blackthorn leaves all blown,
And I alone [deleted] being [/deleted] contented, at peace among my own
[page break]
[underlined] Dawn Sortie [/underlined]
Spitfires unleashed, zig-zagging slowly past
And how that piping music stirs my heart
As screeching brakes hiss, holding each one fast –
Veiled in the pale half-light, intent to start
And shrilling loud farewells ‘til they depart.
Mark how they glisten, vibrant, tense with power
Perfect from tapered nose to graceful fin
Motionless all, awaiting zero hour –
Flame-licked exhausts, deep-throated [inserted] [deleted] growl [/deleted] [/inserted] roar within,
Gusting the trembling dawn as airscrews spin.
[page break]
Slowly the [deleted] purring [/deleted] [inserted] growling [/inserted] grows, deep drowning all,
And slow I turn my head and watch & wait,
As each is loosed, and from a casual crawl,
Now rushes forward – throttles to the gate –
Hawks of the heavens & harbingers of hate.
Now they’re aloft, their wheels are tucked away;
Over the fields they [deleted] roar [/deleted] [inserted] sweep [/inserted], beyond the trees
Catching the first fireglow of breaking day
Rousing the sleeping farms, they soar with ease,
Then slowly bank and turn across the breeze.
[page break]
Riding the lower air, with clear contempt,
Now they are gone, unseen from where I lie
Climbing the crested clouds to deeds undreamt,
Lifting their throbbing bodies to the sky,
While all grows still again, and echoes die.
[deleted] Slowly the purring grows & strums [/deleted] [inserted] [/deleted] Softly the music purring strains are [/deleted] [/inserted] [deleted] strummed anew,
And high above the wheel in southward flight
… Slow-moving patterns, strung across
They greet where the dawn, the blue,
As rosy as golden ruddy sunbeams
They drop horizonwards & drove from slip [inserted] from [/inserted] sight
- While we, poor fools below, must fly by night.
Bathed in [deleted] the [/deleted] [inserted] a [/inserted] silver flood pride of a nation’s of ealy light night.
Eyes of the surging vengeance tide [/deleted]
[page break]
Softly the purring strains are strummed anew
And high above they wheel in southward flight
Slow-moving patterns – strung across the blue –
Bathed in a silver flood of early light
They drop horizonwards & slip from sight.
[page break]
Bring your gun back with you
Or come not back at all
Bring your gun back with you
… And hang it on the wall.
Hang it on the wall, lad
And clean it once again
For the good gun was with you
In the sand of Alamein
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
Wellington.
First of the few heavies.
[page break]
Now when the snow-white cumulus still billows to the south
The heavies cross the coast again in ever growing streams
From [deleted] Cherbourg [/deleted] [inserted] Caen along to Antifer [/inserted] [deleted] Abeville from Brest to .. mouth [/deleted] [inserted] from Seine to Abeville Mouth
The sunny fields of Normany [sic] is [underlined] waking from [/underlined] its dreams.
The foe has [deleted] built] [/deleted] [inserted] moved [/inserted] unhindered, [deleted] when the clouds hung deep [/deleted] [inserted] with storm clouds hanging low [/inserted]
[inserted] But [/inserted] Now [deleted] the [/deleted] roads are ripe for blasting & [deleted] the [/deleted] bridges attack.
[deleted] The [/deleted] And Monty’s men are waiting to watch the mighty blow
That must cripple German armour and prevent its rolling [deleted] g [/deleted] back.
Let these fields, so green below you that bound the Western Seine
Be the graveyard of the Army that has tortured them so long
And bomb and blast them hourly [deleted] let ‘til [/deleted] May [deleted] them [/deleted] never rise again
[deleted] In the hell of your destruction, [/deleted] Let your [deleted] bombing [/deleted]
[page break]
Now, when the white [deleted] st [/deleted] cumulus clouds billow in a blue sky, the Airforce is on the wing again
[inserted] We see it passing by [/inserted]
What the enemy built while the weather was bad & clouds low, now the bombers are blasting away. Let the fields that roll to the West of the Seine be the graveyard of the Germany Army [circled again].
Blast them & bomb them bayonet & bleed them
‘Til Hell shall cry out for them
Heaven them need them
And they rise not up again
Dawn has brought the sleepers from their hard, and sleepless beds,
As [deleted]# Nee [/deleted] squadrons cross the beaches in a neverending stream
The sunny fields of Normandy are waking from their dreams
The battle is beginning in the skies above their heads smoke clouds be their [deleted] then [indecipherable words] be their downfall and their charge [/deleted] your drone their winding sheet funeral song.
[page break]
7 There has been a [inserted] silence, a gap or [/inserted] long long pause
13 In [dleted] the [/deleted] carefree, simple writing of [deleted] the [/deleted] [inserted] every [/inserted] common man
12 Time for reflection, [inserted] for [/inserted] probing for the cause
12 Of strife, of past mistakes, [deleted] and [/deleted] of how it all began
12 Times when [deleted] the shrilling [/deleted] [inserted] pillaged [/inserted] nations [inserted] in [/inserted] agony of death
12 Made [deleted] us [/deleted] [inserted] him [/inserted] apalled, [sic] but [deleted] never [/deleted] stirred [deleted] the [/deleted] [inserted] in him no [deleted] dyeing [/deleted] [/inserted] poet’s breath
12 Silent he asked himself why hate, why all the worst
13 In man should sour & fester, & bloat & finally burst
14 Why all [deleted] these little lovely [/deleted] things [inserted] of beauty [/inserted] the worthwhile things of life
14 Fell in the rumbling thunder clap of pain & bloody strife
13 Time for reflection why the bitter gall was tasted
16 Time for [deleted] self [/deleted] examination of [deleted] the [/deleted] chances man has wasted
16 … there has been a long, long pause in [deleted] the [/deleted] writing of the simple man
14 Time to [deleted] work [/deleted] think and ask and ponder on how it all began
[page break]
A nations agony in death never stirred the poets breath
There has been a long long [sic] pause in the carefree [inserted] sample [/inserted] writings of the common man
Time for reflection, probing for the cause
Of past mistakes, of why it all began
Why hate should be pent up, why all the worst
[deleted] Should [/deleted] In man should sour & fester & bloat & finally burst.
Why all the little lovely things the worthwhile things of life
Fell in a rumbling thunderclap in hate & bloddy & strife
There has been a long long [sic] pause in the writing of the simple man
Time to ponder & think of how it all began
Time for reflection while the bitter gall was tasted
Time for self-examination time for - - was it wasted?
[page break]
[blank page]
[page break]
There has been a [inserted] ragged [/inserted] silence, a gap a [deleted] prolonged [/deleted] [inserted] prolonged [/inserted] pause
In the carefree simple writings [deleted] that [/deleted] of every common man
Time for due reflection, time for a probing for the cause
Of bitter strife, of past mistakes, of how it all began
Time when [deleted] the [/deleted] cries of pillaged nations in [deleted] the [/deleted] agony of death
[deleted] Made him [/deleted] appalled in terror, [inserted] [indecipherable words] [/inserted] choked the poet’s breath
[deleted] As Silent still [/deleted] [inserted] Shrilled loudly as [/inserted] he asked himself why all the basest [deleted] [indecipherable word], [/deleted] worst
[deleted] [inserted] [indecipherable words] [/inserted] [/deleted]
A world where truth will last
[deleted] And [/deleted] Give us faith to face the future and [deleted] to work [/deleted] [inserted] time to [/inserted] & plan again
[page break]
[End of transcribed part. The rest of the document is only available as image files]

Collection

Citation

George Warren, “George Warren's Poetry,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 3, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/26753.

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