a mother's poem

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.

nice chatting


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.


Anonymous said…
O that is a beautiful poem.
cam4long said…
Amazing poem Paul, brought tears to my eyes!
Anonymous said…
You know what is ugly about war? The "people" that start it.
Anonymous said…
Sorry. I meant to add on to the previous comment. It is indeed a lovely poem but sad that a life was lost, brought tears to my eyes too.
Paul Windsor said…
Couldn't agree more.

A sad tear-inducing poem that seems to make war that much more ugly ... and yes, there are so often ugly people at the helm
ruth quick said…
hi there Paul, I am wondering if i might seek your permission to use the words of this beautiful poem for a private art project on the ANZAC's at Gallipoli I am doing as I feel it captures the essence of loss that many mothers must have experienced at the time. It is just so beautifully written. Please let me know if this is okay with you. thanks :-) Ruth from Australia

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