The Ivy and the Vines


The ivy and vines and escallonia are looking so neat

The woodbine and clematis on the porch are a treat

Thank the Lord, my Dear, you're not off to the war

But it must be hard behind bars on the moor

The beans and peas and everything are splendid

The best we have ever had, I think

Celery coming on and snapdragons too

You made everything just right

The night before you left.

In the garden I see traces of you everywhere

You won't have flowers, where you are, up there

The fuschia round the parlour window is magnificent

I've a few sweet peas down by the Sweet Williams

Coming on slowly...

I wonder if you will be home, to permanently plant them.

Your father and I are so very proud

Of our son with his principles sound and intact

So unlike those whose consciences bent, and allowed

Them to grieve their mothers and follow the crowd

Their mothers who'll wonder

When they hear the guns thunder

If their lost sons will ever

Ever, come back

And if they return

Will they be just the same

When they've seen the horror of war

Or will they then turn

To praising God's name

Those that have lived

And are sane..

Thanks to Judy Tremewan for permission to include ( and paraphrase ) lines from a letter sent by her Grandmother Martha to her son John, in 1916

© nigel hallworth 2014