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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Transcript of Poem 'To a Conscientious Objector'

Please remember that all transcripts show what is written on the page; spelling and grammatical mistakes are not corrected.

(D/Wa 5/3/5(9))


You'd leave me cold though this our arguing
Endured till dawn. You lack the essential thing.
Healthy and leisured, pious, gentle, learned,
'You feel forbidden to fight', and unconcerned
with that vast horror which defeat would bring.
Hence, tho' you touched of David's lyre the string,
Or wrote with quill plucked from an angel's wing,
Unless you 'gave your body to be burned',
You'd leave me cold.
'You feel it wrong to nurse'. While others fling
Red life i' the scale, what is your offering?
Levite! in you the milk of pity has turned!
For if sore wounded, and with eyes that yearned,
I lay in the Jericho Road a-perishing,
You'd leave me cold!

Reading. Dec 30 1916