RETURN -- 1917

          "The College will reopen Sept. --."

          I was just aiming at the jagged hole
          Torn in the yellow sandbags of their trench,
          When something threw me sideways with a wrench,
          And the skies seemed to shrivel like a scroll
          And disappear . . . and propped against the bole
          Of a big elm I lay, and watched the clouds
          Float through the blue, deep sky in speckless crowds,
          And I was clean again, and young, and whole.

          Lord, what a dream that was! And what a doze
          Waiting for Bill to come along to class!
          I've cut it now -- and he -- Oh, hello, Fred!
          Why, what's the matter? -- here -- don't be an ass,
          Sit down and tell me! -- What do you suppose?
          I dreamed I . . . am I . . . wounded? "You are dead."

                                             By:     Stephen Vincent Benet (1898-1943)