'Tis strange to leave this world of woods and hills,
This world of little farms, and shady mills, -
Of fields, and water-meadows fair,
Upon some sad and shadowy day
When all the skies are overcast and grey,
And climb up through the gloomy air,
And ever hurry higher still, and higher,
Till underneath you lies a far-flung shire
All sober-hued beneath the ceiling pale
Of crawling clouds, whose barrier soon you reach,
And through their clammy vapours swiftly sail,
Their chill defences hoping soon to breach -
To see no skies above, no ground below,
And in that nothingness toss to and fro
Is no sweet moment - will it never cease? -
Climbing and diving, thrown from side to side, -
All suddenly there comes a sense of peace
And o'er a wondrous scenery we glide.
O! what a splendour! Deep the cloudless blue
Whose sparkling azure has a gorgeous hue
On earth you know not - flaming bright the sun
Which shines upon a landscape, snowy-white
With all its power of unsullied light!
Deep in the shadowy valleys do we run,
And then above the towering summits soar,
And see for far-thrown miles yet, more and more,
Great mountain-ranges, rolling, white and soft,
With shadowy passes, cool, and huge, and dim,
Where, surely, angels wander as they hymn
Their happy songs, which wing their way aloft
To Him who made the sun - the azure deep -
And all this gleaming land of peace and sleep.
Alone I wander o'er this virgin land -
All, all for me - below the ploughman plods
Along his furrows, and with restless hand
The sower hurls his seed among the clods -
They cannot see the sun - grey is their sky, -
I see the sun - the heaven's blue - on high!
But I am human, and must e'en descend;
I bid farewell to all this lovely scene,
And plunge deep in a cloud - When will it end,
This hazy voyage? - See! the chequered green,
The scattered farmsteads, and the quiet sea,
Sunless and dim, come hurrying up to me.
France, 1917.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

Modified on March 06, 2023

1:48 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,873
Words 357
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 44

Paul Bewsher

Born in England in 1894 Paul Bewsher first served during World War 1 in the Royal Naval Air Service from 1915 - 1918, he was shot down once during this period of service. He then moved into the Royal Air force from 1918 until 1919. He was awarded the Distinguished Sevices Cross. My poems (3)Titles list. more…

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