Sonnet IV: The Valiant and the Craven

So valiantly hast thou thy battles fought
For everyone we love, as well as we.
Our fathers and our mothers lived to see
The grandchildren thy blood and valour bought.

And what a crime that none today are taught
The sacrifice thou chos’t as thy decree,
The horror thou hast braved so valiantly,
Thy blood with which their apathy was wrought.

How they will rage when next the bugle sounds
And none are left to stand before its call.
How they will curse thy gravestones one and all;
Yet none may wake thee in thy hallowed grounds.
With ramparts left unmanned, they’ll know the why,
And know thy sacrifice before they die.

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:

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Intro 4: They who Know

To all those who know:
I recall when first I knew.
It awed and shamed me.

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