The Fallen Soldier

Year: 1941

by Paula Fitzgerald   

To Cyril*

All through the years have we not seen your eyes
Searching ours as if in mute appeal-
And a voice – my soul's – within me cries,
'Brother of laughter! You whose merry ways
Echo in memories of our childhood days
Help us to find the ideal in the real.'

For all our dreams are shadows, and the thread
Which once we spun hangs broken from the loom-
And myriad hopes have bloomed that now are dead!
Out of the past I seem to see your hand
Reaching to shelter mine as here I stand,
Where all is silence in this darkened room.
Brother of laughter, you who were not grave,
Help us to follow on in being as brave!

'Dieu Et Mon Droit' graven on your belt
With Britain's Lion triumphing near the Crown-
And this cap- make your presence doubly felt
As thus I closely hold what was your own.

I go for comfort to cathedral walls,
Light up a candle – calling on your name;
And where the Sacred Mystery enthralls,
My prayers arise in sheath of upward flame.

And this I pray – the pure wax to lend
Its virgin brilliance, burning till the end
Unceasingly towards our meeting place
To radiate the welcome on your face!

 

Paul Fitzgerald (1941)

* Cyril Fitzgerald was Paula FitzGerald's younger brother.  He was killed in action in 1918. Click here to read more of his story.