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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 120 pages of information about Letters from Mesopotamia.

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AMARAH.

December 1, 1915.

TO HIS MOTHER.

Sophy’s death affects me more than any since Goppa’s.  She was the most intimate of all my aunts, as I have constant memories of her from the earliest times I can remember till she went to live at Oxford.  I was always devoted to her, and she had an almost uncanny power of reading my thoughts.  I don’t feel there can have been a shade of bitterness in death for her, though she loved life; but there is something woefully pathetic in its circumstances, the pain, the loneliness, the misery of the war.

I thought about her all yesterday.  The sunset was the most wonderful I have seen out here, and it seemed to say that though God could be very terrible yet he was supremely tender and beautiful.  How blank and futile a sunset would be to a consistent materialist, as A.J.B. points out in his lectures.

The result of publishing what he called my “hymn” in the Times of October 15th has been an application from an earnest Socialist for leave to print it on cards at 8_s._ 6_d._ a 1,000 to create a demand for an early peace!  But I couldn’t help focussing my thoughts of Sophy into these lines: 

    Strong Son of God is Love; and she was strong,
      For she loved much, and served;
    Rejoiced in all things human, only wrong
      Drew scorn as it deserved. 
    Fair gift of God is faith:  ’twas hers, to move
      The mountains, and ascend
    The Paradise of saints:  which faith and love
      Made even Death her friend.

My leg is much better but will still keep me here some days, as I am not to go till fit to march.  It is a great nuisance being unable to take exercise.  I was in such splendid condition, and now I shall be quite soft again.  However there are compensations.  The others are only at Kut, which is as dull as this and much less comfortable; and they have only 60lb. kits, which means precious little.

Swinburne I will begin when I feel stronger.  The Golden Ass hasn’t come.  I ordered it years ago, before the war, to be sent on publication.  It is a curious product of Latin decadence, about second century; the first notable departure from the classical style.  The most celebrated thing in it is the story of Cupid and Psyche:  didn’t Correggio paint it round the walls of a palace in Rome?  I went to see it with Sophy.

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AMARAH.

December 8, 1915.

TO HIS MOTHER.

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