anzacs, and the battalions of the aged
The toweringly stooped and the stove-chested youth,
the advocate of war and his violence, the corrupted soul,
The bantam little puncher and the solemn Champion
The big-armed caber tosser,
the sun-fried western settler.
Surf club youngsters playing the lair, town boys with too much hair.
Foresters, roisterers and a sombre railroad fettler
Principled youths, of great wealth and learning
Poets and writers, bums,
red-eyed men, who’s every thought was of a yearning.
Their remnants marched by me today, these battalions of the aged,
These poorly manned platoons,
and squadrons, so ravaged.
Weaponless now, and agedly bent,
their once massive numbers lost,
like coins thrown into the ring,
They marched by me today, their ranks so savagely rendered,
in their eyes a vastness, depthless glint of their youth, so suddenly ended.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
For the Fallen, by Laurence Binyon.
Image is of the Menin Gate at Ypres – painted by William Longstaff