The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

In Honorem Fortium

I SOMETIMES think that I have lived too long,

Who have heard so many a gay brave singer's


Fail him for ever—seen so many sails

Lean out resplendent to the evil gales.

Then Death, the wrecker, get his harvest in.

Oh, ill it is, when men lose all, to win;

Grief though it be to die, 'tis grief yet more

To live and count the dear dead comrades o'er.

Peace. After all you died not. We've no fear

But that, long ages hence, you will be near—

A thought by night—on the warm wind a breath.

Making for courage, pvitting old Death,

Living wherever men are not afraid

Of aught but making bravery a parade.

Yes, parleying with fear, they'll pause and say,

"At Gommecourt boys suffered worse that day";

Or, hesitating on some anxious brink.

They will become heroic when they think,

" Did they not rise mortality above

Who staked a lifetime all made sweet with love?"

May, 1917.