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Poem by Cecil Day Lewis


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Poem by Cecil Day-Lewis

 

Will it be so again

that the brave, the gifted are lost from view,

and empty, scheming men

are left in peace their lunatic age to renew?

Will it be so again?

 

Must it be always so

that the best are chosen to fall and sleep

like seeds, and we too slow

in claiming the earth they quicken, and the old usurpers reap

what they could not sow?

 

Will it be so again -

the jungle code and the hypocrite gesture?

A poppy wreath for the slain

and a cut-throat world for the living? That stale imposture

played on us once again

 

Will it be as before -

peace, with no heart or mind to ensue it,

guttering down to war

like a libertine to his grave? We should not be surprised: we knew it

happen before.

 

Shall it be so again?

Call not upon the glorious dead

to be your witness then.

The living alone can nail their promise to the ones who said

it shall not be so again.

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