Shot At Dawn

by | Sep 12, 2015 | Poetry | 0 comments

In the heart of England there’s a place where people go
To see the art of sculpture, or maybe wander to and fro
Among the many different kinds of stone memorials, where
Some visit for remembrance of loved ones and comrades there.

And there are many fine memorials and shrines to see,
Honouring all, who through the years have served our great Country
In years long gone and those today, and even those to come,
Reminding us of times now past and things that have been done.

Yet midst the glory of the Regimental icons standing tall
Celebrating heroism, proud history to all,
There is a statue of a boy, carved out from marble stone
Tied to a stake and blindfolded, so lost and all alone.

And all about him, wooden stakes, with each, a haunting story
Of mans gross inhumanity amidst his quest for glory.
On every one, a name, a rank, a Regiment or Corps,
The age of each and every one thus sacrificed in war.

But not locked in heroic combat, fighting valiantly,
These victims of an autocratic, bigoted hierarchy
Were condemned to a shameful fate, by those who did not care
That these poor souls had suffered all that they could ever bear.

And sadly, one recurring theme, a certain, blinding truth,
Was that a tragic number had barely left their youth.
These boys who thought to be involved in this wild, brave adventure,
Then suffered in their innocence, the ultimate form of censure.

And anyone who has been here cannot but be affected
By these young victims of their time, fated to be rejected,
Condemned by history to shame, by an uncaring Nation,
Pardoned, countless years too late, in paltry compensation.

It is a sad experience that moves the heart and soul,
To think of all the hurt of those who loved them, and the toll
Of countless years before they, in their turn who still remained,
Were reunited with their tragic loved ones, once again,
And maybe, in another world will gain that, which was lost,
The peaceful, caring, loving live which they were owed, at last.


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