Gurney, Ivor - First Time In
Type of Spiritual Experience
The link takes you to "Dafydd y Garreg Wen" / "David of the White Rock" sung by David Lloyd - Tenor.
Paul Nash - Spring in the trenches - ridge-wood 1917
A description of the experience
First Time In
After the dread tales and red yarns of the Line
Anything might have come to us; but the divine
Afterglow brought us up to a Welsh colony
Hiding in sandbag ditches, whispering consolatory
Soft foreign things. Then we were taken in
To low huts candle-lit, shaded close by slitten
Oilsheets, and there but boys gave us kind welcome,
So that we looked out as from the edge of home.
Sang us Welsh things, and changed all former notions
To human hopeful things. And the next day's guns
Nor any Line-pangs ever quite could blot out
That strangely beautiful entry to War's rout;
Candles they gave us, precious and shared over-rations -
Ulysses found little more in his wanderings without doubt.
'David of the White Rock', the 'Slumber Song' so soft, and that
Beautiful tune to which roguish words by Welsh pit boys
Are sung - but never more beautiful than here under the guns' noise.