OUT IN A GALE OF FALLEN LEAVES
by Marian Allen
Out in a gale of fallen leaves,
Where the wind blows clear through the rain-soaked trees,
Where the sky is torn betwixt cloud and blue
And the rain but ceases to fall anew:
And dead leaves, in bud on your April flight,
Will whisper your name to the wind to-night
And the year is dying in which you died
And I shall be lonely this Christmas-tide.
— Hyde Park, October 1917
Allen wrote this poem six months after the death of her sweetheart, Captain Arthur Tylston Greg:
Shortly after the First World War was declared in August of 1914, Arthur Greg left his law studies at Oxford and eagerly joined the British army. Serving with the Cheshire Regiment near Ypres, Belgium, he was seriously wounded when shot in the jaw in the spring of 1915.
Recovering from his injuries, Greg rejoined the military and applied to the Royal Flying Corps. By April of 1917, he had been certified as a pilot and returned to France to join the 55 Squadron. Less than one month later, on April 23rd of 1917, returning from a bombing mission on an ammunition factory, Arthur Greg’s squadron was attacked by German aircraft…. Greg’s plane was shot down, and although he crash-landed near St. Quentin, both he and his mechanic died of their wounds.
More here: Behind Their Lines.