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August 4 1914

It was the summer - August 4
When England joined the First World War
1914 the very year
Before wives and children shed their bitter tears

‘The war to end wars’ was the battle cry
Before there had been one widow’s sigh
The men lined up by the score
To enlist, sacrifice themselves to this bitter war

Friends and families made their mark
Pals regiments were formed in town and park
From factories, clubs, offices and farms 
They became privates, sergeants, men at arms

And off they went through the streets
Not knowing that they were cannon meat
Cheered and applauded as they marched
Toward war’s verdant fields not yet parched

“It’ll be over by Christmas” came the call
“Get over there one and all”
No one of them, home or abroad
Had ever heard of “Total War”

Posters beckoned from every wall
Poets wrote of war’s enthrall
Songs and stories came thick and fast
Glorifying war and our heroic past

But very soon came the acrid truth
Millions dead - “Anthem of Doomed Youth”
Trial by ordeal and fire and zeal
A generation gone through war’s sharp steel

The sombre, bitter, vile death-calls
Quickly killed the tunes of the music halls
Wounded, dead, disfigured men
Many mutilated beyond any ken

At the end it was all for naught
That carnage in each battle fought
Kings deposed and Empires lost
But the worst thing was the human cost

One hundred years to this very day
Like then we shake our heads and say
Still in wars our sons and daughters die
To all that is holy, why? oh why?



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  1. Date: 7/27/2014 6:19:00 PM

    Thomas, This happens to be an excellent poem, to have featured on the poetry soup's home page. Congratulations, enjoy having your poem featured this week. Always ~ LINDA ~
  1. Date: 7/26/2014 8:23:00 PM

    Welcome to Poetry Soup, Thomas. I enjoyed reading this first poem you posted. I am glad you discovered this nice community of writers and hope you enjoy the site. Read the work of other poet's and comment if you find something you like; many poets will return the favor. Over time you will get to "know" some of us. You are welcome to visit my page anytime. Enjoy!
  1. Date: 7/26/2014 9:38:00 AM

    - Warm welcome to PoetrySoup, Thomas :) - I choose your first great written free verse - Well done ! - Nice to meet you :) - Hope you will be satisfied with our "soup family" - we are many .. but has plenty of room for you too- PoetrySoup Rule1: Be kind and keep PoetrySoup a haven. PoetrySoup is a drama free zone(Comment on the poetry of others and they will comment on yours.) Thank you posted your words and thoughts here, I want to come back to read more another day. - oxox // Anne-Lise :)
  1. Date: 7/25/2014 4:49:00 PM

    LOVED IT .. reminded me of brutality in palestine...
  1. Date: 7/25/2014 4:46:00 PM

    Thomas John, destroyer is not my need, don't ever judge a book by its title. Thank you for the comment on my comment. I am looking forward, in hearing from you again. You will enjoy this site, I guarantee. I highly recommend the blog area, there you can read what is hot, and what is going on here at The Poetry Soup. If you like click on some of the side features ((-UNDER- the area where it reads "Member Poets/Poems")) to the left of this comment. -That's my favorite soup section. If you scroll down to where it reads "Contests" you will enjoy the "Contest Winners: Member " feature. Click away, and check out what's cooking. Enjoy reading and following, many of the incoming winners. "I SURE DO." Please feel free to comment and read any of my poems, if you'd like. My poems are not the easiest to understand:) I'm still learning myself. However, I enjoy encouraging others. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I might be able to help, if not I will recommend someone ~LINDA~
  1. Date: 7/25/2014 4:34:00 PM

    A well dedicated poem, to those who fought Thomas John,, A nice warm WELCOME to poetry soup. I hope you enjoy the community, as I did when I first join, March 2010. You'll find many friendly poets, who are ready to support and give positive feedback. I want to be the first to invite you on over, to the contest page. I OFFER MY CONTEST, in hopes it inspires you to write another poem. I'm looking forward to following you and your poetry ha-ha a special pair:) here's the link to the contest page. <---~Take Care!! From: your new poet friend @-> LINDA <-@
  1. Date: 7/25/2014 2:48:00 PM

    Thomas: Evil runs amok, that's why. Jerry