The State Secretary of the Returned Soldiers' League (Mr. C. W. Joyce) has lately stated that there is an anti-soldier feeling among the younger generation, much of it open and flagrant. The country's population today holds 55 per cent. of young people who were either not born or were too young to understand its meaning when the war was being fought.
Bland youth, to whom the War is but a story Told by the elders round the winter fire, A tale of ancient fear and tarnished glory And quaint heroes of some grey-beared sire, Are you so safe that you can laugh at battle? Are you so sure your world today is sane? Are you so deaf that, tho' the sabres rattle Even today, you count all portents vain? So were we safe, and deemed our generations Secure in sanity; so were we sure, A score of years ago, no war-mad nation Could rouse a whole world's anger, and endure. So were we young, with all youth's scornful laughter. Now we are old; not too old to forget Unheeded beacon fires and and what came after ... And still grim Armageddon is not yet. If you have gods, thank them, with thanks o'erflowing, First, that your path thus far has known no thorn; Then pray. Pray you may never come to knowing The bloody baptism that men you scorn Have known, and lived -- lived on to bear the stricture Of beardless youth. Pray that this world you deem So sane, so sure, may shape war to your picture -- The phantasy of some spent grey-beard's dream.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005|