The Muse in Arms: A Collection of War Poems, for the Most Part Written in the Field of Action, by Seamen, Soldiers, and Flying Men Who Are Serving, or Have Served, in the Great War (Classic Reprint)by E. B. Osborn
The object of this Anthology is to show what passes in the British warrior's soul when, in moments of aspiration or inspiration, before or after action or in the busy
Excerpt from The Muse in Arms: A Collection of War Poems, for the Most Part Written in the Field of Action, by Seamen, Soldiers, and Flying Men Who Are Serving, or Have Served, in the Great War
The object of this Anthology is to show what passes in the British warrior's soul when, in moments of aspiration or inspiration, before or after action or in the busy days of self-preparation for self-sacrifice, he has glimpses of the ultimate significance of warfare. To some extent the selection (which can claim to be fairly representative of the verses written by those who are serving, or have served, in the present world-war) presents a picture of the visible imagery of battle as mirrored in his mind. As such it illustrates his singular capacity for remembering the splendour and forgetting the squalor of the dreadful vocation in which he was so suddenly engaged - a capacity at the root of that infinite cheerfulness which was such a priceless military asset in the early days of disillusion and disaster. This all-important point is brought home by the following story which was told by a visitor to the west front - one who had lived all his life with soldiers, though not a soldier himself - during the final preparations for the Battle of Arras. He was watching a division moving up to the fighting line, in company with one of our Generals, to whom he propounded the question: "How is it that nothing can break the spirit of these men, whereas the rule used to be that a regiment which had suffered 20 to 30 per cent of casualties could no longer be relied on?" "Look at their faces, and you'll see why," answered the General.
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