Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920.  1920.
He Did Not Know
Harry Kemp
HE did not know that he was dead;
  He walked along the crowded street,
Smiled, tipped his hat, nodded his head
  To his friends he chanced to meet.
And yet they passed him quietly by        5
  With an unknowing, level stare;
They met him with an abstract eye
  As if he were the air.
“Some sorry thing has come to pass,”
  The dead man thought; he hurried home,        10
And found his wife before her glass,
  Dallying with a comb.
He found his wife all dressed in black;
  He kissed her mouth, he stroked her head.
“Men act so strange since I’ve come back        15
  From over there,” he said.
She spoke no word; she only smiled.
  But now he heard her say his name,
And saw her study, grief-beguiled,
  His picture in a frame.        20
Then he remembered that black night
  And the great shell-burst, wide and red,
The sudden plunging into light;
  And knew that he was dead.

  The Century Magazine


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