To a Friend Fallen
We questioned once, in those first days of war
Had choice been given us that we should live
In this same age, or after or before
This came to pass, what answer we would give.
And some of us, aghast at all the pain
And dreadful anguish that should make the earth
One mighty place of tombs, said we were fain
That this had happened e’er our day of birth.
But, ardent-hearted, you caught up on the gage^
“I hold it grand to be alive today
And more to be of military age
Such privilege as rarely comes men’s way”
Now you have fallen: as you spoke could you
Have looked down the year with prophet eyes
And seen the goal your choice would lead you to
We know you had not spoken otherwise.
^Rose to the challenge.