Beck Center English Dept. University Libraries Emory University
Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

Lest We Forget: A War Anthology, an electronic edition

by H.B. Elliot, ed. [Elliot, H. B.]

date: 1915
source publisher: Jarrold & Sons
collections: World War I, Early 20th Century Literature

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| | 117

NON-COMBATANT.

BEFORE one drop of angry blood was shed
I was sore hurt and beaten to my knee;
efore one fighting man reeled back and died
The War-Lords struck at me.

They struck me down--an idle, useless mouth,
As cumbrous--nay, more cumbrous than the dead,
With life and heart afire to give and give
I take a dole instead.

With life and heart afire to give and give
I take and eat the bread of charity.
In all the length of all this eager land,
No man has need of me.

That is my hurt--my burning, beating wound;
That is the spear--thrust driven through my pride!
With aimless hands, and mouth that must be fed,
I wait and stand aside.

| | 118

Let me endure it, then, with stiffened lip:
I, even, I have suffered in the strife!
Let me endure it then--then I give my pride
Where others give a life.

Westminster Gazette