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Webmatters : The Newfoundland Memorial Park: Verse - John Oxenham
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The Newfoundland Regiment

Verse – John Oxenham

Tread softly here! Go reverently and slow!
You let your soul go down upon its knees
And with bowed head, and heart abased strive hard
To grasp the future gain in the 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 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 knows, 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!