T. B. King

 

Afterwards

Taken from the book Interlude.

 

The noise and rhythm, the ebb and flow of war,

Sweat by in file as swells the price to pay

In ends, in faiths, so torn by steel and gore,

That few there are who dream, and few who pray.

 

An age of skill, the whole of art was naught

To save the wealth of times gone by, now thrown

To gorge this lust of Mars, whose aid is bought

To tear and bend, to break, to maime and stone.

 

Call no vain tear from eyes to dry to melt:

No sigh from heart grown hard with war and time.

Let those who wish now toy with grief not felt,

And mourn their dead with words scarce worth a dime.

 

They died to cast off bonds, to keep men free -

That we, who live, may find a world to mould:

A world of space and time - once more may see

Green hills, cool streams, a sun that fades to gold.

 

Mid wrecks of bricks, in dust, in sand and deep,

The bits of good, the mites of truth, our age

To build once more in God's good time, we'll keep:

An age of things well done, more sure, more sage.

 

 

Epitaph for a Cynic

Taken from the book Interlude.

 

His mother said he'd make the grade:

Step boldly through the Halls of Fame,

In garb so so brave with gaudy braid,

That all would gasp and ask his name -

                (how wrong of her...)

 

He did not think he'd ever rise

To such a lofty altitude,

Nor live to win such honoured prize:

    a Nation's fervent gratitude -

                (how absolutely right he was...)