Unveiled, June 17th, 1925
A blue sky; and the sunny stone scarce veiled
By tendrils of the Flag for which they died.
O virgin stone, thy whiteness unassailed
Betokens courage fiercely fire-
And thou, fair Shrine, above the bended head
Thou clarion Hope, proclaimest for the Dead
Reward, and Memory, though a distant soil
Enshrouded their last remains. Our gratitude
To teach the swift-
What ye, their sires, achieved. Oh, such a tale
Will flood with tears the yet unseeing eyes
Of unborn progeny. There is no grave
So hallowed as the sanctuary where lies
A lad by Love’s blind eyes taught to be brave
About the base are flowers eloquent
Of things that faltering lips could not have said.
Great poppies, scarlet as the blood they spent
Of sacrifice, for ever richly red:
And laurel, guerdon of the ancient Greek
Most cherished, worthy meed of those who sought
The prize that men inspired alone could seek,
Albeit with their lives it must be bought:
Clutched in hot hands the whole long afternoon;
No costly blooms could sweeter perfume yield
Than these that rendered up their lives so soon.
In sweet confusion, comradely, are piled
These messengers of proudest memory
From parents hoar with years, that scarce have smiled
Since then; and children, pitiful to see,
Decked with the honours of a father lost
Whom scarce they knew. Death never would be stayed!
But take ye comfort, Spirits tempest-
With grief, your dear ones facing undismayed
Sure death for those they loved, have bidden you
By that same token, look upon this Cross,
His pillory who died to be found true.
Lo, God the Father shares with you His loss.