Angel of Mons

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Angel of Mons


Perhaps it was the heartbeat of the guns

Thump-thumping in a cacophonic rage,

or the secret, sly, scurry of the rats

that banished sleep those first nights at the front.

For when I marched, the sky became a wall,

the moonlight through the dust made me believe

I saw some great cathedral in the gloom,

with windows of stained glass cast from the stars.


We lay upon the slick and oozing wounds,

etched deep into the body of the land,

for so long that the earth began to draw

us back towards its decayed, tombstone, teeth.

Oh, for the archers fresh from Agincourt

to cloud the skies with arrows quilled with hope.

Alas, poor Machen’s bowmen stayed at home,

safe in soft sheets of the Evening News.


I prayed and drowned beneath the tide of blood.

Just as all faith began to ebb away

a cry rang out across the Flanders fields

of “Adsit Anglis Sanctus Georgius”,

and to my tired eyes I thought I saw

a figure clothed in gold rise from the mud.

With wings unfurled and flaming sword held high

this angel led us from the hell of Mons.

angel of monsSITWBwar poemww1

◄ Composed At Braunau (April 20th 1889)

Gathering Winter Fuel ►


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David Blake

Sat 9th Feb 2013 13:28

Excellent war poem. Great imagery. Kudos, sir.

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