Poem: Two Minutes by C.J. Dennis

"Armistice Day emphasises sharply our obligations to the thousands of Australian soldiers who are waging a grim, exhausting fight against the cruel rigors of unemployment and adversity." - From a leading article.

The Armistice....A silence shrouds the city:
   Men's heads are bowed and many an eye is wet,
As minds con o'er an olden tale of pity,
   Of grief and terror no man may forget.
Then thro' the silence break old sounds - the cheering,
   The marching feet, the clattering limber wheel;
And, thro' the tears, blurred pictures are appearing
   Of leaf-brown soldiers and the glint of steel.

The Armistice....A sound comes now of weeping:
   New pictures form, and merge, and fade away
In grim succession, thro' the dread years creeping
   Unto the dawning of this Glorious Day.
"The Peace! The Victory!" Done is the grieving,
   As thro' the land speeds that exultant roar.
Yet, thro' it all, a thread of pain goes weaving -
   Pain for the men who marched to march no more.

The Armistice....Now bugles cease their wailing;
   The Silence ends, and life flows on, once more....
And this our tribute; what is it availing
   While living warriors still plead at our door?
Warriors yet, grown old, but ever keeping
   The grim fight on, unarmed, unmailed, unled.
Is all our debt to quit ghosts, long sleeping?
   Mourner, return. You would not mock the dead?

First published in The Herald, 11 November 1931

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 11, 2008 11:00 AM.

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