Monday, 25 April 2011


ANZAC Day, 25 April, is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military operation fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

Today Australians will reflect on the many different meanings of war and throughout the country Dawn Services will be observed.

The poem was sent by an Australian friend who shares my view there is no glory in war, only pain and grief. Dialogue is far more valuable. None of our recent leaders has had personal experience of war - more's the pity - because if they had been active participants they may not be so extravagant with the use of our armed forces.


The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?'

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.

'Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'

Author Unknown

Text words and poem reposted from the lovely Subrosa with thanks!!

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