‘Out of the Mouths of Babes-‘
Two children in my garden playing found
A robin cruelly dead, in Summer hours.
I watched them get a trowel, and heap the mound,
And bury him, and scatter over flowers.
And when their little friend was laid away,
In lack of burial service over the dead
Before those two grave children turned to play:-
‘I hope he’ll have a happy dead life!’ one said.
What more was there to say for bird or beast?
What more for any man is there to say?
What can we wish them better, as with priest
And choir we ring the cross on Armistice Day?
From F W Harvey: Selected Poems (Douglas McLean Publishing, 2011), © The Estate of F W Harvey 2011, used by permission of the F W Harvey Society for the Estate of the author, and the publishers. Recording © The Estate of F W Harvey 2011, used by permission of Douglas McLean Publishing and the BBC.