Monday, August 04, 2014

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

In the military chapel the flags hang silently, in mute witness.

In the glass case the book of names (each page protected by a sheen of tissue) is turned daily.

In another place.

In a dark alcove.

The Royal Arms glow from the middle of the dull black achievement.

The rose marble panels and the gilt entablature add luxurious honour to the forgotten lists.

In the three-sided space the dead names speak to one another.

Oscillating in perpetual loyalty and adulation.

Above the memorial is written the homage which, fictional or not,

Only the mean-spirited would deny the dead boys:

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

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