Works in the Herald 1928
They met last night to speak about the dead.
   War was not thee nor any hint of war;
But, just without the hall, a figure dread
   Lurked in the shadows.   In his hand he bore
The instruments of slaughter, while his eye
   Gleamed with a hope -- a savage hope that here
Lay opportunity; and days gone by
   Might come again and fill the earth with fear.

They met last night to speak about the brave --
   The vanished brave, whom we may not forget.
But not of slaughter did the speakers rave,
   Nor conquest, nor the pomp of war; and yet,
Outside, that figure grim, with straining ear,
   Listened for boasts -- for words of hate and blame,
Hoping and longing that he soon should hear
   That which might set the world again aflame.

They did not boast.  There was no martial word.
   They spoke about the dead.  And, as they talked,
The spectre, angered at the tone he heard,
   Knew that his hopes were vain, his plotting baulked.
"Love and Remembrance!  Weakling fools!" he said.
   "What is there here to pander to my might?"
And, wrapping his red cloak about his head,
Grim Mars, frustrated, vanished in the night.

"C. J. Dennis"
Herald, 3 April 1928, p12

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06