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anzacs, and the battalions of the aged

ANZAC

The toweringly stooped and the stove-chested youth,

the advocate of war and his violence, the corrupted soul,

the uncouth.

The bantam little puncher and the solemn Champion

of Truth

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,

spent.

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

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