To My Mother—1916

By: S. Donald Cox (1916) If I should fall, grieve not that one so weak And poor as I Should die. Nay! though thy heart should break Think only this: that when at dusk they speak Of sons and brothers of another one, Then thou canst say—“I too had a son; He died for England’s…

To “My People,” Before the “Great Offensive”

By: Eric Fitzwater Wilkinson (1916) Dark with uncertainty of doubtful doom The future looms across the path we tread; Yet, undismayed we gaze athwart the gloom, Prophetically tinged with hectic red. The mutterings of conflict, sullen, deep, Surge over homes where hopeless tears are shed, And ravens their ill-omened vigils keep O’er legions dead.

The Debt Unpayable

By: Francis William Bourdillon (1917) What have I given, Bold sailor on the sea, In earth or heaven, That you should die for me? What can I give, O soldier, leal and brave, Long as I live, To pay the life you gave?

Optimism

By: Alfred Victor Ratcliffe (1917) At last there’ll dawn the last of the long year, Of the long year that seemed to dream no end, Whose every dawn but turned the world more drear, And slew some hope, or led away some friend. Or be you dark, or buffeting, or blind, We care not, day,…