The Great War

from Lest We Forget, an electronic edition

The Army of the Dead.

I dreamed that overhead

I saw in twilight grey

The Army of the Dead

Marching upon its way,

So still and passionless,

With faces so serene,

That scarcely could one guess

Such men in War had been.

No mark of hurt they bore

Nor smoke, nor bloody stain;

Nor suffered any more

Famine, fatigue, or pain;

Nor any lust of hate

Now lingered in their eyes --

Who have fulfilled their fate,

Have lost all enmities.

A new, a greater pride

So quenched the pride of race

That foes marched side by side

Who once fought face to face.

That ghostly Army's plan

Knows but one race, one rod --

All Nations there are Man

And the one King is God.

No longer on their ears

The bugle's summons falls;

Beyond these tangled spheres

The Archangel's trumpet calls;

And by that trumpet led

Far up the exalted sky

The Army of the Dead

Goes by, and still goes by --

Look upward, standing mute;

Salute!