The Great War

from A Crown of Amaranth, an electronic edition

Chant of Dead Warriors

WE came from the ends of the Earth to the Mother who gave to us birth,

In our eyes leapt the sunshine of mirth, throughour veins ran the rapture of Life!

We were young, and the flame of desire stillburned, and our hearts were afire,

Our love was intense and our ire was swiftly aroused, for in strife

We smote without rest, without ruth, with thevigour and passion of Youth,

And hated dissemblers of Truth, though our ways with disorder were rife.

In the silence of Death now we lie, strangely bound 'neath an alien sky,

Life was good but 'twas better to die in thebattle for England our Mother!

She reared us and sent us afar, recalled us andarmed us for War-

We heard and we came and are sleeping now, brother with brother;

'Neath the tide of the battle we rest, with the fever of life unoppressed:

Of all ends 'twas the end that was best; what true man desired another?

We flowed as the sea-tides flow, with a roar in the face of the foe,

And smote them with blow upon blow, and they sank 'neath the furious wave;

were swift, we were terrible, strong, andwere filled with the fury of Wrong:

Invincible, sweeping along, no mercy we sought nor we gave;

Dishonoured, they feared us and fell, and the land they transformed into Hell

Is avenged, and our death, it was well-for withGlory we rode to the grave