His life was young; his years too few;
And yet his eyes saw much of age
As in a war-filled year or two,
He wrote his name on history’s page.
But still for those who loved him most
He would have gone no other way;
As in his life he held his post
And gave that life in battle’s fray.
He needs no funeral march of friends
Unto his one last resting place,
His requiem be – he gave his life
For freedom’s sake to all his race.
He needs no other winding sheet
Than that same earth which saw him fall;
Whilst high above the stars shall guard
His resting place like candles tall.
When the deep nights that are now filled
With rumble of the battle gun;
Are once more silent, hushed and stilled
In peace will sleep each soldier son.
His loved ones’ eyes are filled with tears,
Their hearts beat fast and slow with pain,
They know that down the reach of years
His voice will never sound again.
He rests and by his side there sleep
Those soldier pals who with him died.
The clouds of heaven look down and weep
For all those soldiers crucified.
The hands of God shall touch the earth
To bring you peace in passing by.
His breath shall waken flowers to birth
When stilled will be the battle cry.
And he, who gave his life for you
And you and you and me,
Will live again in all we do;
In all we ever hoped he’d be.
O loved ones who have most to bear,
His torch is handed on to you,
For well he knew that in your care
Its flame would burn forever true.
Although his earthly body lies
In distant land, beyond the sea,
In memory, his life shall rise
Before you, always young and free.
He still lives on; he cannot die
Your cherished, gallant soldier son.
He heard the fatal, battle cry
And knew it meant, “God’s will be done.”
He sees, and seeing knows that you
Who comfort find in memory
Will know, that all our soldier boys
Like him, “still liveth yet in me.”
– 1945 (on hearing word of Sgt. Elliott’s death)