The Great War

from Lest We Forget, an electronic edition

Sonnet.

O ye to whom dear life is still most dear,

Heed not the sirens' soft perfidious song

That bids you barter, for a brief term here,

Abiding honour! As the martyr-throng

For love of Christ went stedfast to the stake

And by faith's rapturous power embraced the flame,

So, gladly, ye, for your own Country's sake,

Must court the fiery Fates that wound and maim!

And if on valour's path to victory's end,

Sweet life in one swift flash ye must renounce, --

Rejoice that your high lot should so transcend

Man's common doom! The brave can die but once,

But in your death, thrice-gloriously ye'll die, --

For England, for men's hearths, and Liberty!