As the rain it fell,
They stood in silent sentinel,
Youth whose life barely fills a page,
For those, alas, who will never age,
Most gave their life on foreign soil,
Where the cedar bleeds or in Katangian dust.

The eternal flame dancing in its cage,
Brings light to unknown dreams,
Sympathetic sighs from those who linger,
Visiting the grieving garden,
Of bronze busts and limp half-mast flags,
All keep a fleeting vigil as heroes’ sleep.

One fell at Derrada Wood, so earned his star,
One borne away on Scuabtuinne,
Lost far out on the unforgiving sea,
More lost in flight on that darkest night,
Another in distant hills of Fataurlo,
One more rolled in Bantry waves.

Kindly pause as you pass by,
Bare and bow your head,
No need for praise or for applause,
Please sit or kneel or wet your eye,
Just remember those departed,
From whom forever pain has fled.

Families aching hearts,
As gun carriage rattles past,
Rifles bark the final retort,
To click of leather heel and clink of brass,
Mournful last post bugle call,
Shock and quiver as teardrops fall,
To rest on arms reversed.

By Ruairí de Barra © 2017


4 thoughts on “Guard

Add yours

    1. Hi Greg, please pardon my late reply. Thank you very much for your very kind comment. It is greatly appreciated and I am so very glad you enjoyed the poem. Le meas, Ruairí


Leave a Reply to Kevin Mc Donald Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: