Proem. "Outside London."

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Old 09-Oct-2010
Proem. "Outside London."

In the black night, along the mud-deep roads,
Amid the threatening boughs and ghastly streams,
Hark! sounds that gird the darknesses like goads,
Murmurs and rumours and reverberant dreams,
Tramplings, breaths, movements, and a little light. -
The marching of the Army of the Night!

The stricken men, the mad brute-beasts are keeping
No more their places in the ditches or holes,
But rise and join us, and the women, weeping
Beside the roadways, rise like demon-souls.
Fill up the ranks! What shimmers there so bright?
The bayonets of the Army of the Night!

Fill up the ranks! We march in steadfast column,
In wavering lines yet forming more and more;
Men, women, children, sombre, silent, solemn,
Rank follows rank like billows to the shore.
Dawnwards we tramp, towards the day and light.
On, on and up, the Army of the Night!

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