Armistice 1918

ARMISTICE 1918

*

That I remember those who are

not able to remember,

who in the morning of their lives

did not reach that November.

*

 That I might feel that their fresh blood

was not dispersed in vain,

responding to commands to fight

in Flander’s mud and rain.

*

That I will bear the guilt of men

who breathe another day

in knowledge that their love will last

to pardon what I say.

*

 That they shall rise beyond my death

and join the sun with prayer

and speak anew in a new world

for ever young and fair:

*

I stand and wait for this to pass –

two minutes by void tomb –

with emptied thoughts and filled up heart

in winter’s piercing gloom.

*

And that in slow age it should end;

is this what I deserve,

defined by steel and guts of war,

made godlike if I serve?

*

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