A haze of dust floats up from marching feet
Along our homely roads;
Great waggons clatter down the sleepy street
With unfamiliar loads.
The little town, so quiet as it stirred
In languorous morning haze,
By ringing bugles, lately still unheard,
Now regulates its days.
In quiet meadows towns of tents arise,
Where peace was wont to brood;
The mutterings of world-wide war surprise
The heart of solitude.
War, like a restless fever, haunts the air,
Changing the world we knew;
The men we are forget the men we were
In all we think and do.
And yet, impartial, patient, as of yore,
Life wakes the hidden seed;
Of who will reap or who will reap no more
Wise nature takes no heed.