To-morrow I again go forward, which means rising early and taking a long plod through the snows; that’s one reason for not writing any more, and another is that our one poor candle is literally on its last legs.
Your poem, written years ago when the poor were marching in London, is often in my mind:
Have been heavy with labour and sorrow;
I should faint if I did not see
The day that is after to-morrow.”
And there’s that last verse which prophesied utterly the spirit in which we men at the Front are fighting to-day:
“And for me, with
The mire and the fog I press thorough,
For Heaven shines under the cloud
Of the day that is after to-morrow.”
We civilians who have been taught so long to love our enemies and do good to them who hate us—much too long ever to make professional soldiers—are watching with our hearts in our eyes for that day which conies after to-morrow. Meanwhile we plod on determinedly, hoping for the hidden glory.
Yours very lovingly,
February 3rd, 1917.
Dear Misses W.:
You were very kind to remember me at Christmas. Seventeen was read with all kinds of gusto by all my brother officers. It’s still being borrowed.
I’ve been back from leave a few days now and am settling back to business again. It was a trifle hard after over-eating and undersleeping myself for nine days, and riding everywhere with my feet up in taxis. I was the wildest little boy. Here it’s snowy and bitter. We wear scarves round our ears to keep the frost away and dream of fires a mile high. All I ask, when the war is ended, is to be allowed to sit asleep in a big armchair and to be left there absolutely quiet. Sleep, which we crave so much at times, is only death done up in sample bottles. Perhaps some of these very weary men who strew our battlefields are glad to lie at last at endless leisure.
Good-bye, and thank you.
Yours very sincerely,
February 4th, 1917.
My Dearest Mother: