ANZAC

A poem by John Le Gay Brereton

Within my heart I hear the cry
Of loves that suffer, souls that die,
And you may have no praise from me
For warfare’s vast vulgarity;
Only the flag of love, unfurled
For peace above a weeping world,
I follow, though the fiery breath
Of murder shrivel me in death.
Yet here I stand and bow my head
To those whom other banners led,
Because within their hearts the clang
Of Freedom’s summoning trumpets rang,
Because they welcomed grisly pain
And laughed at prudence, mocked at gain,
With noble hope and courage high,
And taught our manhood how to die.
Praise, praise and love be theirs who came
From that red hell of stench and flame,
Staggering, bloody, sick, but still
Strong with indomitable will,
Happy because, in gloomiest night,
Their own hearts drummed them to the fight.

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