Kathleen Montgomery Wallace


The bodies of three Austrian soldiers found preserved in ice, in 2004, more than 80 years after their deaths in World War I

Kathleen Montgomery Wallace (1890- ?) was born in Cambridge, England.  She is often referred to as one of the lesser known poets of World War I.  She attended Girton College at Cambridge were she graduated in English in 1914.  Her brother, Basil Montgomery Coates, was education at Queens' College at Cambridge, and was killed in action in World War I on September 7, 1015.  His death is mourned in a number of poems.  Kathleen married Major J.H. Wallace in 1917.  She wrote a number of novels and was a regular contributor to many women's magazines at the time.

Because You Are Dead

Because you are dead so many words they say.
If you could hear them, how they crowd, they crowd!
"Dying for England--but you must be proud."
And "Greater Love" -- "Honour" -- "A debt to pay."
And "Cry, dear!" someone says: and someone "Pray!"
What do they mean, their words that throng so loud?

This, dearest, that for us there will not be
Laughter and joy of living dwindling cold;
Ashes of words that dropped in flame first told;
Stale tenderness made foolish suddenly.
This only, heart's desire, for you and me,
We who lived love will not see love grown old.

We, who had morning-time and crest o' the wave
Will have no twilight chill after the gleam.
Nor any ebb-tide with a sluggish stream;
No, nor clutch wisdom as a thing to save.
We keep for ever--and yet they call me brave!--
Untouched, unbroken, unrebuilt, our dream.