Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern British Poetry
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Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern British Poetry.  1920.
 
Ford Madox Hueffer. 1873–
 
84. Clair de Lune
 
I

I SHOULD like to imagine
 
A moonlight in which there would be no machine-guns! 
  
For, it is possible 
To come out of a trench or a hut or a tent or a church all in ruins: 
To see the black perspective of long avenues         5
All silent. 
The white strips of sky 
At the sides, cut by the poplar trunks: 
The white strips of sky 
Above, diminishing—  10
The silence and blackness of the avenue 
Enclosed by immensities of space 
Spreading away 
Over No Man's Land.... 
  
For a minute...  15
For ten... 
There will be no star shells 
But the untroubled stars, 
There will be no Very light 
But the light of the quiet moon  20
Like a swan. 
And silence.... 
  
Then, far away to the right thro' the moonbeams 
"Wukka Wukka" will go the machine-guns, 
And, far away to the left  25
Wukka Wukka. 
And sharply, 
Wuk ... Wuk ... and then silence 
For a space in the clear of the moon. 
  
II

I should like to imagine
  30
A moonlight in which the machine-guns of trouble 
Will be silent.... 
  
Do you remember, my dear, 
Long ago, on the cliffs, in the moonlight, 
Looking over to Flatholme  35
We sat ... Long ago!... 
And the things that you told me... 
Little things in the clear of the moon, 
The little, sad things of a life.... 
  
We shall do it again  40
Full surely, 
Sitting still, looking over at Flatholme. 
  
Then, far away to the right 
Shall sound the Machine Guns of trouble 
Wukka-wukka!  45
And, far away to the left, under Flatholme, 
Wukka-wuk!... 
  
I wonder, my dear, can you stick it? 
As we should say: "Stick it, the Welch!" 
In the dark of the moon,  50
Going over.... 
 
 
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