The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patriâ

IF England calls to-day—

The last long call of all,

Valhalla's Trumpet-call:

Then may I live until

The Goal shines past the Hill

And in the last grand rally

Hear echoed God's Reveille

In the Home Camp.

If England calls this day—

If in the great, grim fight

I fall—with eyes all bright

With sacrificial flame

Whispering Her great name:

Let these weak verses show

To all the friends I know—

I gladly died.

If England calls this day—

Remembered not hardship

Glad-borne in War's dread grip—

Not the strain of training.

Or a year's campaigning,

But the joy of greeting

Pleasures, tho' but fleeting.

Entwined therewith.

If England calls this day—

May those who gave their love,

Who lifted me above

The petty things of Earth,

And taught me all the worth

Of splendid aim in Life,

Know I, 'mid all this strife.

Remember them.

If England calls this day—

The last sweet Twilight calm.

When guns withheld their harm

Awhile, and let me dream

Of Things That might Have Been-

Leaf-music in the trees.

And treasured reveries,

Shall die with me.

If England cglls this day—

No craven heart would go

From out a world loved so.

As I love this. Each day

More loved is Nature's sway

Of Earth, its every joy

Of Pain or Joy—yet I,

So gladly die.

If England calls this day—

With yet one aim unwon.

Of all aims just the one

Far dearer than the rest—

To woo and win the best

Thing that the World can give-

The Gift of Love—To Live

I would not wish.

If England calls this day—

Then shall I die that She

May live in Liberty—

That She may still be great

To rise above blind Hate

Of Foes—Her Flag unfurled,

God's England to the world,

For aye to be.

If England calls this day—

The rose-clad days of June,

That fled by all too soon,

Shall be with me again

In Memory—and when

The daylight sudden closes.

The perfume of June Roses

Shall waft me hence.

If England calls this day—

From those far Hills of Home,

Beyond the sky's dim dome—

Shall merge Valkyries fair.

Swift riding thro' the air—

Who know I shall be there.

Treading the rose-strewn stair

To that New Land.

If England calls this day—

In the Valkyrie's touch

Shall be forgotten much:

Her flying, perfumed hair

Shall speak of Roses rare—

And climbing thro' the breeze,

Remembered melodies

Shall call me Home