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(Cecily Fox Smith)

Behind a trench in Flanders the sun was dropping low,
With tramp and creak and jingle, I heard the gun teams go,
When something seemed to ‘mind me a-dreaming as I lay
Of my own old Hampshire village at the quiet end of day

Brown thatch with garden blooming with lily and with rose
And the cool shining river so pleasant where he flows
Wide fields of oats and barley, and elder flowers like foam
And the sky gold with sunset, and the horses going home!

(Home, lad, home, all among the corn and clover
Home, lad, home, when the time for work is over,
Oh there’s rest for horse and man when the longest day is done
And they go home together at setting of the sun.)

Oh Captain, Prince and Blossom, I see them all so plain
With tasselled ear-caps nodding along the leafy lane
There’s a bird somewhere calling, and the swallows flying low
And the lads sitting sideways and singing as they go.

Well gone is many a lad now, and many a horse gone too,
Of all the lads and horses in those old fields I knew,
There’s Dick that died at Cuinchy, and Prince beside the guns
On the red road of glory, a mile or two from Mons.

Dead lads and shadowy horses - I see them just the same,
I see them and I know them and name them each by name,
Going down to shining waters, when all the west’s aglow
And the lads sitting sideways and singing as they go

(Home lad, home… with the sunlight on their faces!
Home, lad home… to the quiet, happy places!
There’s rest for horse and man when the hardest fight is done
And they go home together at the setting of the sun!)

original poem by CF Smith first published in 1916
NB It is “Home lad” in the original, not lads.

@war @farming @animal
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