Not theirs to die where the falchions flash 'Mid the din and smoke of war, Where the fratricidal legions clash And the cannon blaze afar. No drum-beat boomed o'er the field they trod, The plains of shimmering white, Where our brothers yielded their souls to God In the dark,borean night. Red-blooded stalwarts were they all, The pick of a Viking race. >From a hundred hunting sires the call Impelled them to the chase. Though danger lurked by berg and pan They counted not their lives. Each faced his duty like a man For home and babes and wives. To life and laughter and kindred face, To homes on the sea-swept shore, The siren call of the ships of the chase Shall wake them nevermore. No greave or cuirass for martial fight Was laced to their limbs or breast. The gaff,the goggles,the belt,the knife Sufficient for their quest. And forth they fared on the frozen fields, Unheeding the threatening skies, To prove that the true man never yields; And to teach us how he dies. Oh,mother,sisters,babes and wives Who weep by the northern sea, May the God of pity o'erlook your lives And assuage your misery. And believe that your husband,brother,son, Has entered the realm of light Where the home-spun garb,for the deed well done, Shall be changed into robes of white.
Contributed by Martha Warren
Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)
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