Unhappy Far-Off Things eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 43 pages of information about Unhappy Far-Off Things.
is but conjecture, yet all the romance is there; for picture a wall over fifteen feet high built as they built long ago, standing for all those ages between two gardens.  For would not the temptation arise to peer over the wall if a young man heard, perhaps songs, one evening the other side?  And at first he would have some pretext and afterwards none at all, and the pretext would vary wonderfully little with the generations, while the ivy went on growing thicker and thicker.  The thought might come of climbing the wall altogether and down the other side, and it might seem too daring and be utterly put away.  And then one day, some wonderful summer evening, the west all red and a new moon in the sky, far voices heard clearly and white mists rising, one wonderful summer day, back would come that thought to climb the great old wall and go down the other side.  Why not go in next door from the street, you might say.  That would be different, that would be calling; that would mean ceremony, black hats, and awkward new gloves, constrained talk and little scope for romance.  It would all be the fault of the wall.

With what diffidence, as the generations passed, would each first peep over the wall be undertaken.  In some years it would be scaled from one side, in some ages from the other.  What a barrier that old red wall would have seemed!  How new the adventure would have seemed in each age to those that dared it, and how old to the wall!  And in all those years the elders never made a door, but kept that huge and haughty separation.  And the ivy quietly grew greener.  And then one day a shell came from the east, and, in a moment, without plan or diffidence or pretext, tumbled away some yards of the proud old wall, and the two gardens were divided no longer:  but there was no one to walk in them any more.

Wistfully round the edge of the huge breach in the wall, a Michaelmas daisy peered into the garden, in whose mined paths I stood.

After Hell

He heard an English voice shouting, “Paiper!  Paiper!” No mere spelling of the word will give the intonation.  It was the voice of English towns he heard again.  The very voice of London in the morning.  It seemed like magic, or like some wonderfully vivid dream.

He was only a hundred miles or so from England; it was not very long since he had been there; yet what he heard seemed like an enchanted dream, because only the day before he had been in the trenches.

They had been twelve days in the trenches and had marched out at evening.  They had marched five miles and were among tin huts in quite a different world.  Through the doorways of the huts green grass could be seen and the sun was shining on it.  It was morning.  Everything was strangely different.  You saw more faces smiling.  Men were not so calm as they had been during the last twelve days, the last six especially:  someone was kicking a football at somebody else’s hut and there was excitement about it.

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Unhappy Far-Off Things from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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