Armistice Day, 1933 by C.J. Dennis

| No TrackBacks
This we have said: "We shall remember them."
   And deep our sorrow while the deed was young.
Even as David mourned for Absolem
   Mourned we, with aching heart and grievous tongue.
Yet, what man grieves for long? Time hastens by
  And ageing memory, clutching at its hem,
Harks back, as silence falls, to gaze and sigh;
   For we have said, "We shall remember them."
"Age shall not wither..." So the world runs on.
   We grieve, and sleep, and wake to laugh again;
And babes, untouched by pain of days long gone,
   Untaught by sacrifice, grow into men.
What should these know of darkness and despair,
   Of glory, now seen dimly, like a gem
Glowing thro' dust, that we let gather there?-
  We who have said, "We shall remember them."
Grey men go marching down this street today:
   Grave men, whose ranks grow pitifully spare.
Into the West each year they drift away
   From silence into silence over there.
Unsung, unnoticed, quietly they go,
   Mayhap to rest; mayhap a diadem
To claim, that was denied them here below
   By those who vowed, "We shall remember them."
"We shall remember them."  This have we said.
   Nor sighs, nor silences devoutly planned
Alone shall satisfy the proud young dead;
   But all things that we do to this their land --
Aye, theirs; not ours; of this be very sure;
   Theirs, too, the right to credit or condemn.
And, if the soul they gave it shall endure,
   Well may we say, "We have remembered them."

First published
in The Herald, 11 November 1933

Author reference sites: C.J. Dennis, Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 11, 2012 9:35 AM.

Irony by J. Braham was the previous entry in this blog.

The Wind by Walter D. White is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en