The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

A Serbian Epitaph

After the retreat of the Serbian Army across the mountains of Albania in 1915, the survivors who reached the coast were shipped to Corfu. Here, and in the neighboring island of Vido, many of them lied--to begin with, at the rate of hundreds a day. Some of them were buried at sea. Others lie in common graves. In the midst of he mounds which mark their resting--place, and which vary in size, here stands a cross. On it is a Serbian inscription, written by the poet, V. Stanimirovic, and translated for the London Westminster Gazette by Mr. L. F. Waring:

NEVER a Serbian flower shall bloom

In exile on our far-off tomb.

Our little ones shall watch in vain:

Tell them we shall not come again.

Yet greet for us our fatherland,

And kiss for us her sacred strand.

These mounds shall tell the years to be

Of men who died to make her free.

Notes

After the retreat of the Serbian Army across the mountains of Albania in 1915, the survivors who reached the coast were shipped to Corfu. Here, and in the neighboring island of Vido, many of them lied--to begin with, at the rate of hundreds a day. Some of them were buried at sea. Others lie in common graves. In the midst of he mounds which mark their resting--place, and which vary in size, here stands a cross. On it is a Serbian inscription, written by the poet, V. Stanimirovic, and translated for the London Westminster Gazette by Mr. L. F. Waring: