The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Anxious Dead

O GUNS, fall silent till the dead men hear

Above their heads the legions pressing on!

(These fought their fight in time of bitter fear

And died not knowing how the day had gone.)

O flashing muzzles, pause and let them see

The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar

Then let your mighty chorus witness be

To them, and Csar, that we still make war.

Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their call

That we have sworn and will not turn aside;

That we will onward till we win or fall;

That we will keep the faith for which they died.

Bid them be patient, and some day, anon,

They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep--

Shall greet in wonderment the quiet dawn,

And in content may turn them to their sleep.