Patrick Kavanagh

Untitled (Do you hear the loud noise?)

Do you hear the loud noise?
That was merely a shell
Bursting among schoolchildren.
Do you see the glow in the Eastern skies?
That is not the sun rising - it is real blood
Can you smell
An odour from a feast?
No feast! That odour is from the stinking
Entrails of a poet or it maybe a priest
Who thought no law could stop a man from thinking
They are playing a military air somewhere
And the old pulse leaps
Soldierly. I wish you wouldn't stare
There is nothing in those heaps
But a few hundred common corpses
Dung for the State. The harvest will be good
Glory glory soldier glory
No cause now for dogs to worry
Every water-table runs
With a red promethean flood
Mangled flesh and dusty blood
Soldiers, soldiers to your guns.
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