Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
What the Orderly Dog Saw
By Ford Madox Hueffer
 
A Winter Landscape
        To Mrs. Percy Jackson

I
  THE SEVEN white peacocks against the castle wall
In the high trees and the dusk are like tapestry;
The sky being orange, the high wall a purple barrier,
The canal dead silver in the dusk:
          And you are far away.        5
 
  Yet I see infinite miles of mountains,
Little lights shining in rows in the dark of them—
Infinite miles of marshes;
Thin wisps of mist, shimmering like blue webs
Over the dusk of them.        10
 
  Great curves and horns of sea,
And dusk and dusk, and the little village;
          And you, sitting in the firelight.
 
II
  Around me are the two hundred and forty men of B Company,
Mud-colored;        15
Going about their avocations,
Resting between their practice of the art
Of killing men;
As I too rest between my practice
Of the art of killing men.        20
Their pipes glow over the mud and their mud-color, moving like fireflies beneath the trees—
I too being mud-colored—
Beneath the trees and the peacocks.
When they come up to me in the dusk
They start, stiffen and salute, almost invisibly.        25
And the forty-two prisoners from the battalion guard-room
Crouch over the tea-cans in the shadow of the wall.
And the bread hunks glimmer, beneath the peacocks—
          And you are far away.
 
III
  Presently I shall go in.
        30
I shall write down the names of the forty-two
Prisoners in the battalion guard-room
On fair white foolscap:
Their names, rank and regimental numbers;
Corps, Companies, Punishments and Offences,        35
Remarks, and By whom confined.
Yet in spite of all I shall see only
The infinite miles of dark mountain,
The infinite miles of dark marshland,
Great curves and horns of sea,        40
The little village;
And you,
Sitting in the firelight.
 
 
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