Adapted from Trench's "Apollo and the Seaman," by permission of Henry Holt and Company, Publishers, New York. "I heard a soldier sing some trifle, Out in the sun-dried veldt, alone; He lay and cleaned his grimy rifle, Idly behind a stone. What grief of love had he to stifle, Basking so idly by his 'stone. That grimy soldier with his rifle, Out in the veldt alone?" The poet finds an answer to his question when, later, he meets the soldier, mortally hurt in the army hospital, and hears his story. He learns of the soldier's courtship and happy married life in an English village: his transfer to a hill garrison in India, where tribesmen have been making trouble; the attempt made by a native rebel to assassinate him as he and his wife sit together in the moonlight; the sacrifice of her own life to save his. Happy in knowing that the period of waiting for his loved one is almost over, the soldier takes the hand of the poet. "If after death, love, comes a waking, And in their camp so dark ...
Moving Picture World synopsis