Saturday, May 7, 2011

born in an old house

born in an old house

born in the old church-house 
of a young mother
namesake to a soldier
into a sickly body
a spirit to match the best

threads from the clothes
cords from the coats
gathered from his kin
to weave a blanket for warmth

an old and honourable line
              sons of the British Isles in arms
uncles with brothers all men
they are, everyone, soldiers still

those now in the wind hear tell
before Kings and Queens all stood
in turn going in and out to war
until in service they each did die

this man child, this babe
braver than his frame grew
destined, they say, to carry
war high on his heart to lead

a man must find his way they say
in steps of those gone before wearing
duty's shoes that know only one way
uncharted paths left undiscovered

wrapped in his mantle he found were
threads woven firmly from the past
families were soldiers of many lands
hearts whose beat he made his own

head of the family in succession
carried representing his ancestors
thoughts and loves surely stilled
warm flesh and blood long past feeling

no son for whom to weave a blanket
bereft of one to carry house and honour   
mantled and others seek his martial spirit
memory's pages yellow as life and years fade

Poem by Jane Jones (inspired by the life of General James Wolfe)

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