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August 16th 1914

Mon Nov 11th, 2019

We spoke of you today, James Stuart Dunne,

Surgeon of the trenches. The swallows rose

And dived across the skies in tumult fun

In practice for their pyramids. Their great-

Great Ancestors had known you round Clonkeen

Preparing for your Internship. Your dream,

Soon nightmare broken, in the savage scream

Of salvage amputation. You set sail

Today, in August, Nineteen and fourteen;

The swallows looked the same, but saw the change

Through smoke, and noise and turmoil, and despair

Where broken men bewildered, found your care.

By rampart breach a Surgeon’s skill was known,

Where brave men wept for home, and home disowned.