To The Dead
The Poets & The War VIII
Your Peace, she never came of age,
That Peace you bought with bitter price;
Nor now survives in this dull rage
One sign of all your sacrifice.
Your sons must arm again to do
What all you, dying, thought you'd done;
How shall they doubt that rumour true
Of Vanity beneath the sun?
A risen Fiend! A faded goal!
These trampled lands, this wasted sky
Keep on surprises for the soul
Either of hope or agony!
Last night, in cold and smothering dark,
A memory of your courage came,
And burned, a pure and patient spark
Which yet may light a world to flame:
Still calmly summoning, as when
You took it with unquestioning trust
From legions of defeated men
Who sang revelly from the dust.
O, if we fail in this mischance,
Not you alone we shall betray,
But all our long inheritance
Since the first dreamers lost the day!
- The Times