The Isle of Imbros, set in turquoise blue,
Lies to the westward; on the eastern side
The purple hills of Asia fade from view,
And rolling battleships at anchor ride.
White flocks of cloud float by, the sunset glows,
And dipping gulls fleck a slow-waking sea,
Where dim steel-shadowed forms with foaming bows
Wind up the Narrows towards Gallipoli.
No colour breaks this tongue of barren land
Save where a group of huddled tents gleams white;
Before me ugly shapes like spectres stand,
And wooden crosses cleave the waning light.
Celestial gardeners speed the hurrying day
And sow the plains of night with silver grain;
So shall this transient havoc fade away
And the proud cape be beautiful again.
Laden with figs and olives, or a freight
Of purple grapes, tanned singing men shall row,
Chanting wild songs of how Eternal Fate
Withstood that fierce invasion long ago.