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    The Soldier on the Plinth

    Tomas Hamilton
    Posted by Tomas Hamilton on Jun 17, 2022 9:23:37 AM

    I stand upon my lonely plinth, my eyes a stony gaze
    ‘Tis here I greet the morning sun, or watch its dying rays
    My descendants all stroll past me, with hardly an upward glance
    For I am but a victim, who played wars’ game of chance

    We came ashore at Anzac Cove, a nation’s funeral pyre
    My comrades fell around me, in both dust and mire
    Our family read of valiant deeds, but they weren’t told the truth
    For the reaper stood upon those slopes and claimed our flower of youth

    The generals rolled their dice of death, from an island safe off shore
    Till finally they closed the page, on this chapter of the war
    We’d been right through the gates of hell, but that just seemed a stunt
    For what was yet to greet us, on the western front

    We spent three years along the Somme, all we had left was our pride
    Till at Villiers Bretonneux, we turned the fatal tide
    Pressing through the maelstrom, we prayed for some release
    And after four years of this misery, the Germans sued for peace

    The world we knew went wild with joy, there was dancing in the street
    For we set free the nations, that had only known defeat
    Their shackles swiftly cast aside, upon the blood soaked loam
    While all our thoughts quickly turned, to the folks we left back home

    The church bells tolled both loud and long and the wine it all flowed free
    But deep down in our troubled souls, lay a sorrow, you could not see
    And the poppies of Remembrance, became the symbol of this day
    As we hoped for a better life, in the peace that now held sway

    Amongst all our rejoicing, we pondered at the cost
    As bells and cheers can’t bring back, the sixty thousand lost
    Now Christmas dinner, will see an empty chair
    For the missing loved ones, of those who still wait there

    So may history proudly judge, our noble sacrifice
    But the tears of grief will still flow, for those who paid the price
    As I wonder each November, looking through my granite mask
    Did my comrades die in vain, well, I can only ask

    By Tomas ‘Paddy’ Hamilton

    (Published on Contact Magazine)

    Topics: Remembrance

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