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Elegy

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."
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Upon the discovery in France in May of 2001 of twenty British soldiers killed in the battle of Arras on April 9th 1917.
 

In equal brotherhood they came,

Embraced by Liberty who stands

Together with the harlot Fame

Beside the graves of gallant bands.

One such were they, I see them all -

Twenty sons seduced by Valour,

Who sweetly smiled and let them fall

Into crimson mud and pallor.

With reverence their grave behold:

United as in former days,

Their voices silent that were bold

And spoke of life in youthful ways,

Their hollow eyes that once were bright,

Their brittle bones that once were strong

And cheeks once ruddy as the light

That shines from hearts that know not wrong.

Venture here and you shall see

How, grinning heavenward they lie,

In this soil that their blood made free,

Below a tranquil, azure sky.

And Oh how the songbirds chatter,

Oh how the summer breezes sigh

As the poppy petals scatter

Drawing wandering echoes nigh.

Their passions resonating deep,

Their gentle spirits haunt this land

And she, in turn, will always keep

Upon their tomb a gentle hand.

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