A poem for Armistice Day

[ Français ]

The Dead

In the wind that blows
The veils of widows
All float on one side

And the mingled tears
Of a thousand sorrows
In one stream glide.

Pressing each other close the dead
Who own no hatred and no flag,
Their hair veneered with clotted blood,
The dead are all on the same side.

In the one clay where endlessly
Beginnings blend with the world that dies
The bothered dead lain cheek to cheek
Today atone for the same defeat.

Divided sons, fight on, fight on,
You lacerate humanity
And tear the earth apart in vain,
The dead are all on the same side;

Under the earth no more than one
One field, one single hope abide,
As for the universe can only be
One combat and one victory.

René Arcos, translated from the French