Seager, Alexandrine – October 1915
A Year Ago
On October 19 and 21 of last year the first expeditionary forces of South Australian soldiers left for the front
Like strong young lions roaring for their prey
Or eager schoolboys rushing for the ball,
The boys set sail – a year ago today
In answer to the call
Australia’s honour high aloft they held.
‘We’ll keep it there,’ they cried; and we who knew
And loved our Men ne’er doubted till the death
They’d keep that promise true.
Impregnable the heights above – ‘twas said
The world was looking on, Australia’s fame
was in their hands to crown with glory, or
Let fall in shame.
Ridge after ridge they climbed, in face of fire
Hotter than hell itself; and then,
Drenched deep with blood, they held our honour high —
The boys who left a year today are Men–
Not puny weakling ‘slackers’ – Men indeed,
Such as Old England calls, and ever finds,
In time of need.
Soundly some sleep beside an alien sea,
Wrapped in the eternal glory they have won
None dare disturb their calm serenity,
Their work is done.
But not so ours. Our love, our duty, is
To those who’ve fought and suffered – who the while
Bear burning wounds—and hide their agonies
‘Neath a brave smile.