What do you think as you stand there,
Under the deep blue sky and the hammered heat,
Moving with machine precision
Giving honour to the dead?
What do you feel, standing there
Under the gaze of strangers
Whose motives you cannot guess?
Eyes straight! Stay focused!
What do you know, as you stand there
Of the pain of your traditions,
The doubts that pursue the dying,
Questioning your cause?
What have you suffered?
What made you?
Do you know the grace that holds you,
Promising a glory
That no war ever brought?
Where do you go when you stand there
Before the unnamed dead;
And, just beyond you,
The stretching fields of tombstones,
Where the dead
Have nothing left but names?
Do you wonder
What name, what lasting heritage,
When a man keeps company with deathWhat does he return to tell the living?