Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920
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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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