He limps along the city street,
Men pass him with a pitying glance;
He is not there, but on the sweet
And troubled plains of France.
Once more he marches with the guns,
Reading the way by merry signs,
His Regent Street through trenches runs,
His Strand among the pines.
For there his comrades jest and fight,
And others sleep in that fair land;
They call him back in dreams of night
To join their dwindling band.
He may not go; on him must lie
The doom, through peaceful years to live,
To have a sword he cannot ply,
A life he cannot give.
Edward Shillito was an English pastor and poet who wrote many poems about the First World War.