The Candle Burns

(For Thomas Beardmore. Died 1918, aged 23)

“The lamps are going out all over Europe,
we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”
– Sir Edward Grey

Heathen days,
So far away,
England’s darkest night,
Until war was no more,
All light, with honour,
Lay crepuscular,
Twilight chills forlorn souls,
While mother’s hearts ache
With untold grief
And sorrow,

But in the pitch
A candle burned
On an English window ledge,
Blazing light,
Strong, bold and bright,
Guiding the lost generation home,
Through dusk, smog and gas,
Endless shells and shock,
Its flickering heart
Granted warmth
To relinquished souls,

And now…

One hundred years have passed,
England still stands
Solemn and mournful,
Such forfeiture of misplaced youth,
In the dusk the soldiers call
For a candle to show once more
The lonesome
Remembrance road,

Such light will manifest
Across their bypassed land,
A keepsake of history,
Commemorations lantern,
Protective and purifying,
Never forgotten,
To guide our brave sons


Poem © Phen Weston 2014


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