The Poets & The War XXXVI
By E. A. Gibbons-Pole.
The War Illustrated, Volume 3, No. 61, Page 476, November 1, 1940.
And shall he live?
Who feared to meet a worthy foe
And sought the weak to overthrown?
Who wasted, pillaged, plundered, slew,
And proved his bonded word untrue?
Whose ears were deaf and eyes were blind
To all the suffering of mankind?
Who cannot find one single friend
To name him noble in the end?
And shall his dust, beneath the sod
Await the judgement of his God?
Nay! Let him live
And grant his span of years,
A prey to conscience and to fears,
Shall we forgive?
Nay! Let him live!
We are not gods – but men!
(Si monumentum requiris, circumspice)
Old London's time-encrusted walls
Are but the work of human hands.
What man has fashioned for us falls;
What God has breathed into us stands.
What if the
You should be proud, the humdrum and the weak,
Not versed in war nor schooled to high performance,
Who bear no shield but your own mute endurance,
Carry no sword but keen-edged Cockney laughter.