Unarmed, and hard beset;
Nor how, when round the frosty pole
The northern dawn was red,
The mountain wolf and wild-cat stole
To banquet on the dead;
Nor how, when strangers found his bones,
They dressed the hasty bier,
And marked his grave with nameless stones,
Unmoistened by a tear.
But long they looked, and feared, and wept,
Within his distant home;
And dreamed, and started as they slept,
For joy that he was come.
So long they looked - but never spied
His welcome step again,
Nor knew the fearful death he died
Far down that narrow glen.
Excerpted from Killer Verse by edited by Harold Schechter and Kurt Brown. Copyright © 2011 by edited by Harold Schechter and Kurt Brown. Excerpted by permission of Everyman's Library, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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