After Reading 'Mons, Anzac, and Kut'

‘SAD stories chancèd in the times of old’
Have held me oft by candle’s faltering light,
When all outside my bed was winter-cold,
And shy, small noises crept about the night.
Myself thus safe, of perils I have learned,
And ancient strifes, that I have never shared;
Thus have I tasted, while my wick still burned,
Comfort from that discomfort I am spared.
Thus have I hasted on from page to page
With tingling blood that other’s blood should flow
From piercèd bodies in a far-off age
Fabled to stir me by their pageant woe.
Your terrible true tale of our to-day
Thus holds me, till my candle melts away.