For a War Memorial (by G.K. Chesterton)
I would have written you a poem. I would have drawn my pen as weapons have been drawn, while an overwhelming sense of thanks and honor welled up in my eyes. But as I aimed my mind to capture the thoughts which manifest themselves so poignantly right now, I discovered that it’s all been done before. My prayers have been whispered by other lips. My feeble battle-cry has been attempted by other voices… and they shout louder than I ever could. So I muster my emotions as you mustered your courage, and add my voice to the grateful multitude, honored to stand for you, as you stood for us all.
For a War Memorial, by G.K. Chesterton
The hucksters haggle in the mart
The cars and carts go by;
Senates and schools go droning on;
For dead things cannot die.
A storm stooped on the place of tombs
With bolts to blast and rive;
But these be names of many men
The lightning found alive.
If usurers rule and rights decay
And visions view once more
Great Carthage like a golden shell
Gape hollow on the shore,
Still to the last of crumbling time
Upon this stone be read
How many men of England died
To prove they were not dead.