Armistice Day 1933

This we have said: 'We shall remember them.'
And deep our sorrow while the deed was young.
Even as David mourned for Absolem
Mourned we, with aching heart and grievous tongue.
Yet, what man grieves for long? Time hastens by
And ageing memory, clutching at its hem,
Harks back, as silence falls, to gaze and sigh;
For we have said, 'We shall remember them.'

'Age shall not wither...' So the world runs on.
We grieve, and sleep, and wake to laugh again;
And babes, untouched by pain of days long gone,
Untaught by sacrifice, grow into men.
What should these know of darkness and despair,
Of glory, now seen dimly, like a gem
Glowing thro' dust, that we let gather there?-
We who have said, 'We shall remember them.'

Grey men go marching down this street today:
Grave men, whose ranks grow pitifully spare.
Into the West each year they drift away
From silence into silence over there.
Unsung, unnoticed, quietly they go,
Mayhap to rest; mayhap a diadem
To claim, that was denied them here below
By those who vowed, 'We shall remember them.'

'We shall remember them.' This have we said.
Nor sighs, nor silences devoutly planned
Alone shall satisfy the proud young dead;
But all things that we do to this their land
Aye, theirs; not ours; of this be very sure;
Theirs, too, the right to credit or condemn.
And, if the soul they gave it shall endure,
Well may we say, 'We have remembered them.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1915 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history. Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he had collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets. While attributed to Lawson by 1911, Dennis later claimed he himself was the 'laureate of the larrikin'. When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the 'Australian Robert Burns'. more…

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    "Armistice Day 1933" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jan. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/6196/armistice-day-1933>.

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