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About this Poem 

Captain E. H. Brittain, M.C. Written four days before his death in action in the Austrian offensive on the Italian Front, June 15th, 1918.

To My Brother

(In Memory of July 1, 1916)

Your battle-wounds are scars upon my heart,
     Received when in that grand and tragic "show"
You played your part
     Two years ago,

And silver in the summer morning sun
     I see the symbol of your courage glow—
That Cross you won
     Two years ago.

Though now again you watch the shrapnel fly,
     And hear the guns that daily louder grow,
As in July
     Two years ago,

May you endure to lead the Last Advance
     And with your men pursue the flying foe
As once in France
     Two years ago.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Vera Brittain

Vera Brittain

Vera Brittain was born in 1893 in Staffordshire. She served as a nurse in the Voluntary Aid Detachment during World War I before publishing her first poetry collection, Verses of a V.A.D (Erskine Macdonald), in 1918. She died in London in 1970.

 

by this poet

poem

Night Duty, December 1917

Through the night-watches of our House of Sighs
     In capable serenity of mind
     You steadily achieve the tasks designed
With calm, half-smiling, interested eyes;
Though all-unknowing, confidently wise
     Concerning pain you never felt, you find

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A mass of human wreckage, drifting in
     Borne on a blood-red tide,
Some never more to brave the stormy sea
     Laid reverently aside,
And some with love restored to sail again
     For regions far and wide.

1st London General Hospital, 1916.

poem

One long, sweet kiss pressed close upon my lips,
     One moment's rest on your swift-beating heart,
And all was over, for the hour had come
                    For us to part.

A sudden forward motion of the train,
     The world grown dark although the sun still shone,
One last