They Will Return
They will not come in swinging line,
They will not march along the street,
But they will see each tender sign
We make for those we long to greet.
They'll see the tears in gentle eyes
That watch the broken ranks go by,
They'll hear the mothers' sobs and sighs
And understand the reason why.
The missing brave, for whom we yearn
In victory's hour, will all return.
Because his comrades left him there
To sleep 'neath Flanders' poppy rows,
Think not that he will fail to share
In all the praise the world bestows.
Think not that he will fail to hear
The music and the shouts of joy;
He will be always hovering near.
Oh, mother of each missing boy,
He'll know across life's dusky rim,
That all your smiles are meant for him!
When they return to sound of cheers,
And all their cruel tasks are done,
The shouts the living soldier hears
Will also reach the absent one.
When all the battle flags are furled
And peace has come to every land,
The joy that reigns throughout the world
The dead will know and understand.
They will be near to hear and see
And share in victory's jubilee.
Edgar A. Guest