The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Gold Star

T'he star upon their service flag has changed to gleaming gold;

It speaks no more of hope and life, as once it did of old,

But splendidly it glistens now for every eye to see

And softly whispers: "Here lived one who died for liberty.

"Here once he walked and played and laughed, here oft his smile was known;

Within these walls today are kept the toys he used to own.

Now I am he who marched away and I am he who fell

Of service once I spoke, but now of sacrifice I tell.

"No richer home in all this land is there than this I grace,

For here was cradled manhood fine; within this humble place

A soldier for the truth was born, and here, beside the door,

A mother sits and grieves for him who shall return no

more.

''Salute me, stranger, as you pass! I mark a soldier who

Gave up the joys of living here, to dare and die for you!

This is the home that once he knew, who fought for you and fell;

This is a shrine of sacrifice, where faith and courage dwell."