Poetry – John Phillips – Roses

This is another poem from John Phillips out of his poetry book Shorts and Shots.

It is a poem about war. John selected the War of the Roses as his subject.




The ground is frozen hard, the Dawn is grey

Which rises on late Winter’s icy blast.

Two armies marching forth in steel array;

The battle lines are drawn, the die is cast.

No loud Hosannas laud a coming King;

No victory palms his glorious path to greet.

But clashing steel and curses, madly ring

O’er broken corpses, crushed ‘neath armoured feet.

Long hours, Death’s hideous song is raised on high,

Whilst howling winds of snow and arrows fall

On those condemned by fate to live or die;

On all, who answered to their ‘Roses’ call.

‘till with the dying day, Red Roses yield

To White, on Towton’s storm-lashed, blood-drenched field.

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