Robert Nichols (1893-1944) was the wartime author of Ardours and Endurances; Also, A Faun's Holiday and Poems & Phantasies, a collection of war poetry published in 1917.
Nichols, who struck up friendships with fellow war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke (the latter was killed in action in 1915), was a Winchester and Oxford-educated Georgian poet.
Nichols' First World War military service - which lasted from from 1914-16 - saw him participate in the Battle of Loos in 1915 in the role of artillery officer.
His front-line service was however brief - after just a few weeks serving in the trenches he was invalided home with shell shock; an illness which ... more »
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Robert Nichols Poems
Was there love once? I have forgotten her. Was there grief once? Grief yet is mine. Other loves I have, men rough, but men who stir More grief, more joy, than love of thee and thine.
Comrades An Episode
Before, before he was aware The 'Verey' light had risen… on the air in hung glistering.. And he could not stay his hand
1. Noon It is midday; the deep trench glares…. A buzz and blaze of flies….
The beating of the guns grows louder. 'Not long, boys, now.' My heart burns whiter, fearfuller, prouder;
The Last Salute
In a far field, away from England, lies A boy I friended with a care like love; All day the wide earth aches, the keen wind cries,
For the last time, maybe, upon the knoll I stand. The eve is golden, languid, sad. Day like a tragic actor plays his role
Nearer and ever nearer... My body, tired but tense, Hovers 'twixt vague pleasure And tremulous confidence.
O Nightingale My Heart
O Nightingale my heart How sad thou art! How heavy is thy wing, Desperately whirrëd that thy throat may fling
The Day's March
The battery grides and jingles, Mile succeeds to mile; Shaking the noonday sunshine
In my tired, helpless body I feel my sunk heart ache;
The Nocturne: Address to the Sunset
Exquisite stillness! What serenities Of earth and air! How bright atop the wall The stonecrop’s fire and beyond the precipice
All the loud winds were in the garden wood, All shadows joyfuller than lissom hounds Doubled in chasing, all exultant clouds
The Prophetic Bard's Oration: From A Fau...
'Be warned! I feel the world grow old, And off Olympus fades the gold Of the simple passionate sun;
Something moves in his dust, Flame sleeps beneath the crust; O whence had he those eyes
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Was there love once? I have forgotten her.
Was there grief once? Grief yet is mine.
Other loves I have, men rough, but men who stir
More grief, more joy, than love of thee and thine.
Faces cheerful, full of whimsical mirth,
Lined by the wind, burned by the sun;
Bodies enraptured by the abounding earth,
As whose children we are brethern: one.
And any moment may descend hot death
To shatter limbs! Pulp, tear, blast
Belovèd soldiers who love rough life and breath
Not less for dying faithful to the last.
O the fading eyes, the grimed face ...