Isaac Rosenberg

(25 November 1890 – 1 April 1918 / Bristol / England)

Returning, We Hear the Larks


Sombre the night is.
And though we have our lives, we know
What sinister threat lies there.

Dragging these anguished limbs, we only know
This poison-blasted track opens on our camp -
On a little safe sleep.

But hark! joy - joy - strange joy.
Lo! heights of night ringing with unseen larks.
Music showering our upturned list’ning faces.

Death could drop from the dark
As easily as song -
But song only dropped,
Like a blind man’s dreams on the sand
By dangerous tides,
Like a girl’s dark hair for she dreams no ruin lies there,
Or her kisses where a serpent hides.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: joy, song, girl, dark, music, hair, sleep, death, night, kiss, dream

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Comments about this poem (Returning, We Hear the Larks by Isaac Rosenberg )

  • Gold Star - 10,227 Points Kim Barney (2/3/2015 8:05:00 PM)

    I think that, to understand this poem you need to know the setting, the background, why it was written. I do not, but it seems to be a group of soldiers returning to their camp in the darkness. The line
    Death could drop from the dark
    could refer to a bomb or missile, or even a cannonball. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 21,206 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (2/3/2015 8:05:00 AM)

    Serpent hides on her kisses.....May be a story of the medieval times memory through histories. Great writing. (Report) Reply

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