Our Glorious Dead

Sweet be your rest, O, glorious dead!
May peace eternal o’er you shed
Her benediction of repose
After war’s cruel hateful blows!
You triumph still beyond the grave
With all immortal spirits brave!

No earthly comfort held you back,
No skill or courage did you lack,
No thought of pain, or mortal fear,
Nor love of those you hold most dear
Could shake your British loyalty;
You wish to guard and keep us free!

When war demanded sacrifice
You freely paid the awful price
You gave your health, your strength, your all,
You faltered not at death’s grim call!
And now a higher life you share
Reserved for those who do and dare.

To you who died that we might live
Our grateful homage we would give
And your ideals we would revive
That love and unity may thrive!
As gems in Britain’s coronet
Your deeds of valour now are set!

Alas, the fruits of victory won
Are withering ‘neath the scorching sun
Of inward discontent and greed,
Of pressing poverty and need;
Oh shame that we should render vain
The peace you died for us to gain.

O, glorious dead, no grave could hold
Such dauntless heroes true and bold!
No monument, nor scroll of fame
Could add more honour to your name!
Watch o’er and help us lest we be
Unworthy of our God and thee!

Florence Clee 1916
lovingly dedicated to Private Bernard Bartley who died from wounds

d’Verse OLN

22 comments

  1. A beautiful poem dedicated to the hero fighting for freedom. Thousands of nameless people are buried in graves. They have no monuments, but live in the memory of loved ones and loved ones.
    I sent my regards

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Immortal verse, Kate. Indeed, did your aunt realize her thoughts, once released, would have such an effect on readers over a century later? In fact, they’ll carry an equal charge a century hence. Now, that’s talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful, poignant tribute. I love reading your Aunt’s writing. Thank you for sharing her with us. I hope somehow, some way, she can know her words have lived beyond her and are touching and helping so many of us today.
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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