Ici Repose (Here Lies)
A little cross of weather-silvered wood,
Hung with a garish wreath of tinselled wire,
And on it carved a legend—thus it runs:
‘Ici Repose’—Add what name you will
And multiply by thousands: in the fields,
Along the roads, beneath the trees—one here,
A dozen there, to each its simple tale
Of one more jewel threaded star-like on
The sacrificial rosary of France.
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And as I read and read again those words,
Those simple words, they took a mystic sense;
And from the glamour of an alien tongue
They wove insistent music in my brain.
Which, in a twilight hour, when all the guns
Were silent, shaped itself to song …
Bernard Freeman Trotter
Born: 16 June 1890 (Toronto)
Served in the British Army
Killed in Action: 7 May 1917 (France)
Buried: Mazingarbe Military Cemetery
The manuscript of this, his last, poem reached his parents the day after he was killed.
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