Tuesday, 14 June 2016

A poem by an unknown forgotten poet of WW1

Jane Crossen has transcribed some of the poems written in a WW1 autograph book which Sheringham Museum (known as ‘The Mo’) has kindly allowed her to research. The autograph book was kept by a girl called Lilian who was 14 when war broke out. Many of the entries are from soldiers who, from early research, seem to have been stationed on the coastal defences, though at least two of the men in the book went on to die on war service abroad.

Jane has transcribed the poems exactly as they were written. There is no signature on this poem, sadly. It's very beautiful.
With Jane’s permission I will post some of the poems.  This one was written anonymously:

“Harvest Fields”

Deep in the Heart of England

They take the harvest now

Treasure from Golden Cornfields

Jewels from laden bough


Far sights and sounds but echo

From many another year

Only the lads have left us

Who worked and whistled there

They wait to reap the harvest

Where patient seed they sow

While in their endless cycles

The seasons come and go

No shining fields are greeting

Their battle-weary glance

Only the plains of slaughter

That once were fields in France

And some that War may never

Our placed uplands shake

Themselves a priceless harvest

Are reaped for England’s sake


(with kind permission of Sheringham Museum)