Tread softly here! Go reverently and slow!
Yea, let your soul go down upon its knees,
And with bowed head and heart abased, strive hard
To grasp the future gain in this sore loss!
For not one foot of this dank sod but drank
Its surfeit of the blood of gallant men.
Who, for their faith, their hope - for Life and Liberty,
Here made the sacrifice, - here they gave their lives,
And gave right willingly - for you and me.
From this vast altar-pile the souls of men
Sped up to God in countless multitudes;
On this grim cratered ridge they gave their all,
And, giving, won
The Peace of Heaven and Immortality.
Our hearts go out to them in boundless gratitude;
If ours - then God's; for His vast charity
All sees, all nows, all comprehends - save bounds.
He has repaid their sacrifice; - and we - ?
God help us if we fail to pay our debt
In fullest full and all unstintingly!