The bells! The bells, they toll for victory
Hard fought and won upon the heaping fields
Of mud scorched black by emptied armories
And blood of bodies brave who would not yield.
To them, to them they toll for all but naught
Who fought and died there in the worst of hell
Those dead; the brightest of the hope-lit souls
To walk the twilight of ’shrined progress fraught
With blinding pride and hubris great to knell
The gongs of war: the bells, the bells, they toll.
And throbbing now upon November air
A cry goes up and mingles with their sound
A scream of joy, perhaps, or bold fanfare
To ’nounce the end of war and loud expound
Relief for lengthy tension snapped at last.
Yet there among the joyous clamor bright
A sorrow note clashes ’gainst glad revel
Dragged slow through sky, its wake: a silence vast
Just broken by a wailing wordless fright
Of dreaded news now brought long to level
A heavy blow upon the grief-bent head
Of one lone mother who long wrote and hoped
To see her son return from war to wed
The girl who short would find her throat tight groped
By wracking tears and strangled falling moans.
The bells toll hollowly for past-known sons
When war yet won is lost when best is burned
On pyres of pride and greed that flaming groans
Beneath the weight of sacrifice in tons:
The lives not lived and futures never learned.
The bells! The bells, will ring for something bright
When men and sons will die for more than naught
They go forth bravely who for others fight
And stand upon freed lands that their blood wrought
Where peace will spread across a land once bound
In fears, despair and mercy lacked by those
Who led for gain to self and not the whole.
Those men who died in wars some base, some sound
By duty called decisive they arose
To fellows guard and reach the crucial goal.
The bells! The bells, still toll for mothers' sons
And daughters brave who gave their essence all
Against the threat and thund’ring of the guns
And raging death where they did lastly fall.
So lift the mothers and the dead sons high
And Daughters, fathers we remember too
Write fading names upon your mournful soul
Lest we forget the past in last goodbyes;
Do not erase that bleak November view
Of fallen souls for whom the bells, the bells,
(On this Remembrance Day I dedicate this poem to all those who serve, or have served, in the military. Also, I dedicate this to all those who have relatives who serve or have served. Your sacrifices will not be forgotten.)