Ode to the Soldiers' Memorial at Magill
By W. A. Hamilton, M.P.
Halt! Stranger, 'ere thou passest here,
And gaze on this great stone well wrought
To mark the death of those who fought
For Empire's cause, Aye; linger near.
These sons of ours who gave their best, their all,
Have bravely died for Country— you and me.
Have bravely died that we might still be free.
Their deaths have made earth's proudest tyrants fall.
Why did they leave this peaceful dwelling-place,
To risk their lives in blood and gruesome fight?
They shouldered arms to battle for the Right,
And save their kind from terror and disgrace.
For Empire's cause? Aye; more than that by far;
Their strong young lives on earth were freely given
For God, Whose wise commands were riven
By those whose creed and chiefest god was War.
O impious boast! O vain misguided Might,
That staked thy puny wisdom 'gainst a world,
And caused the death of millions. Now thou'rt hurled,
With all thy pomp, to one enduring Night.
These men of ours took part in that great fray—
They bore the brunt as only brave men can;
Unstoried; still their life's course truly ran,
And now they've readied the Everlasting Day.
Ten thousand miles from here their bones are laid;
But yet their spirits live with us and shine.
This stone records their sacrifice divine,
And proves to all their glory shall not fade.
No! Shall not fade. Each year as time goes on
Some tender hand shall deck this stone with flowers,
In mem'ry of these noble men of ours—
In memory of their duty nobly done.
[Register (Adelaide, SA), Tuesday 16 November 1920, page 5]