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U3A Writing: Ischia

George Brierley’s poem was written on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples while he was convalescing in Mussolini’s weekend house after being wounded a few weeks before the war in Europe ended.

Softly the rain through the pine trees was falling.
All the earth slept, not a sound could be heard
Save the voice of a servant girl tenderly singing,
Singing a duet with some distant bird.

Quiet was this small isle, away from the war;
Peace everlasting now seemed all around
But the crack of a shotgun away on the tor
Brought death to the bird as it fell to the ground.

Softly the rain through the pine trees keeps falling
All the earth sleeps, not a sound can be heard
Save the voice of a servant girl tenderly singing
A lament for her partner, the dead little bird.

Quiet seemed this small isle away from the war;
Peace everlasting no longer around
As the crack of a shotgun away on the tor
Reminds us tomorrow we return to the war.

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