The War Films

Source: Sir Henry Newbolt, ‘The War Films’, The Times [London], 14 October 1916, p. 7

Text: O living pictures of the dead,
O songs without a sound,
O fellowship whose phantom tread
Hallows a phantom ground —
How in a gleam have these revealed
The faith we had not found.

We have sought God in a cloudy Heaven,
We have passed by God on earth:
His seven sins and his sorrows seven,
His wayworn mood and mirth,
Like a ragged cloak have hid from us
The secret of his birth.

Brother of men, when now I see
The lads go forth in line,
Thou knowest my heart is hungry in me
As for thy bread and wine;
Thou knowest my heart is bowed in me
To take their death for mine.

Comment: Henry Newbolt (1862-1938) was a British poet. This poem was written in response to seeing The Battle of the Somme (1916), the British official war documentary photographed by Geoffrey Malins and J.B. MacDowell, whose images of the Western Front had a profound impact upon British audiences.

This entry was posted in 1910s, Poetry and rhyme, United Kingdom and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.