Wednesday, September 7, 2016

REQUIEM FOR A YOUNG SOLDIER, a poem

PEACE to-night, heroic spirit!
     Pain is overpast.
All the strife with life is ended;
     You may rest at last.

The devotion that, amazing,
     Welled from out the deep
Of your being, no more needed,
     Quiet you may sleep:

Sleep, who, giving all for others,
     Battled till the victory nigh,
You, too, toil and heart-break over,
     Had the right to die! . . .

We may guard the grave that holds you,
     As a shrine of Truth
Lighted by the pure devotion
     Of your radiant youth;

We, you died for, may forget you!
     You will have no care,
Who, content, to-night are sleeping—
     Painless, dreamless, there!
"Requiem for a Young Soldier" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Scribner's Magazine (November 1915) and in Poems (1916) Volume II.


British soldier paying his respects at the grave of a colleague
near Cape Helles where the Gallipoli landings took place
(19 November 1915)
Wikimedia Commons

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