Print this page

Observations placeholder

Frederick William Harvey - Out of the Mouths of Babes

Identifier

013330

Type of spiritual experience

Background

 

Frederick William Harvey was born in Hartpury, Gloucestershire, in 1888.
He was educated at Rossall School, and later trained as a solicitor.  Enlisting in the 1/ 5th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment at the outbreak of war, he arrived in France in March I915, and soon afterwards won the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant, but was captured by the Germans in August 1916.
He spent the rest of the war in camps at Crefeld and Gutersloh.
After the war he returned to practising as a solicitor, while continuing to write poetry.
He died in 1957.

A description of the experience

Out of the Mouths of Babes —’

Two children in my garden playing found
A robin cruelly dead, in Summer hours.
I watched them get a trowel, and heap the mound,
And bury him, and scatter over flowers.

And when their little friend was laid away,
In lack of burial service over the dead
Before those two grave children turned to play:
‘I hope he’ll have a happy dead life!’ one said.

What more was there to say for bird or beast?
What more for any man is there to say?
What can we wish them better, as with priest
And choir we ring the cross on Armistice Day?

The source of the experience

Poet other

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: T Fox