Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain
On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me
Remembering again that I shall die
And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks
For washing me cleaner than I have been
Since I was born into this solitude.
Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon:
But here I pray that none whom once I loved
Is dying to-night or lying still awake
Solitary, listening to the rain,
Either in pain or thus in sympathy
Helpless among the living and the dead,
Like a cold water among broken reeds,
Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff,
Like me who have no love which this wild rain
Has not dissolved except the love of death,
If love it be towards what is perfect and
Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
That’s beautiful. Bleak and terrible, but yet compassionate. The image of the cold water among broken reeds suddenly makes one reevaluate what one is reading, because of course the expected image is the contrary – of reeds among water.
To those of us that have not served on battle fields, it is impossible to imagine the horror of the poet’s situation. It is utterly bleak, but not without the possibility of redemption. And, yes, very beautiful, possibly one of my favourite war poems.
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