The Great War

from A Treasury of War Poetry, an electronic edition

To a Mother

Robbed mother of the stricken Motherland --

Two hearts in one and one among the dead,

Before your grave with an uncovered head

I, that am man, disquiet and silent stand

In reverence. It is your blood they shed;

It is your sacred self that they demand,

For one you bore in joy and hope, and planned

Would make yourself eternal, now has fled.

But though you yielded him unto the knife

And altar with a royal sacrifice

Of your most precious self and dearer life --

Your master gem and pearl above all price --

Content you; for the dawn this night restores

Shall be the dayspring of his soul and yours.