The Return to Flanders

HEARING the voice, as in a dream
He rose and followed. Nothing stirred
Save that the air was ringing still
With the call he’d heard.
Before him lay a lonely land
Where it was neither night nor day;
How forlorn, how desolate,
No word could say.
Along a road, what had been trees
Stretched tortured limbs against the sky.
That evil place seemed very heaven;
He knew not why.
Deep in reverie he stood;
Then, in a flash, his body knew
And cried in anguish: ‘What is this
You make me do?’
Little could his body guess
Why spirit found that stricken plain
So beautiful, or why it said,
‘Home! Home again!’
JAMES NORMAN HALL