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Dont Cheer

 Don't cheer, damn you! Don't cheer!
Silence! Your bitterest tear
Is fulsomely sweet to-day.
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.
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Down on your knees and pray.
See, they sing as they go, Marching row upon row.
Who will be spared to return, Sombre and starkly stern? Chaps whom we knew - s0 strange, Distant and dark with change; Silent as those they slew, Something in them dead too.
Who will return this way, To sing as they sing to-day.
Send to the glut of the guns Bravest and best of you sons.
Hurl a million to slaughter, Blood flowing like Thames water; Pile up pyramid high Your dead to the anguished sky; A monument down all time Of hate and horror and crime.
Weep, rage, pity, curse, fear - Anything, but .
.
.
don't cheer.
Sow to the ploughing guns Seed of your splendid sons.
Let your heroic slain Richly manure the plain.
What will the harvest be? Unborn of Unborn will see.
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Dark is the sky and drear.
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For the pity of God don't cheer.
Dark and dread is their way.
Who sing as they march to-day.
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.
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Humble your hearts and pray.

by Robert William Service
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