Today is ANZAC Day in New Zealand. It is when we remember those who have died in wars - with a particular focus on Gallipoli (Turkey) in World War 1.
My mother's Uncle Edgar is one of those who died in Gallipoli. Today I heard my mum read a poem written by Edgar's mother Maria (my mother's grandmother; my great grandmother) after Edgar died.
It is beautiful. So tender. So sweet. A mother's heart. Read it aloud.
Here is a photo of the original...
Maria died four days before the second anniversary of Edgar's death.
Let me write the words out again just in case you cannot read them.
To a Lad That's Gone from New Zealand
When the shadows are falling soft and still,
And the heat of the day is done,
I see through the dusk as a mother will
The face of lad that's gone.
The face of a lad with a stalwart frame
Whom God once gave to me,
With a fearless heart and a stainless name,
And a soul of chivalry.
I see hin (him!) as he said farewell,
Gallant and tall and gay,
I hear the clanf (clang!) of the station bell,
The night that he went away.
I remember the day when the cable came,
And I knew that his race was run,
And that nothing was left but an honoured name,
And a grave for my son - - my son.
And every night when the sun goes west,
And the toil of the day is done,
Oh, I long for the boy who loved me best,
And the smile of a lad that's gone.