By the Bivouac's Fitful Flame

By the bivouac's fitful flame
A procession winding around me, solemn and sweet and slow - but first I note,
The tents of the sleeping army, the fields' and the woods' dim outline,
The darkness lit by spots of kindled fire, the silence,
Like a phantom far or near an occasional figure moving,
The shrubs and trees (as I lift my eyes they seem to be stealthily watching me),
While wind in procession thoughts, O tender and wondrous thoughts,
Of life and death, of home and the past an loved, and of those that are far away;
A solemn and slow procession there as I it on the ground,
By the bivouac's fitful flame.