Forward Defence Lines, Cassino

H. Brennan

Sleep I remember;
It came like a moth-dusted mist
That in its own looms became floating, fold-rich veils:
And the mist was in my breath
Tip-toeing through mind and body
Dimming their flaring lights:
And the veils were woven into walls:
And a strong door closed softly -- and was barred.
But here beat the Spandau knuckles
A tattoo on the door we dare not close
The mortars fists pound solidly
And the great, double-handed crash of 88's.
If sleep but paused for a moment
Then death smiles -- and sleep must reel on:
Someone has stolen our soul away in pity
And we watch the darkened body
Drunk and debauched by wakefulness
In its dull pretence of life:
Oh, everything that orders and directs
Keep thirst, keep hunger, keep love and friendship.
Keep happiness and all contentment
Keep all those souls of ours,
But let us have their worth in sleep.
Return to Oasis -- Shepheard-Walwyn Ltd (1980)