Anzac Crosses [poem by L. E. Homfray, 18 April 1921]

[Editor: This poem by L. E. Homfray was published in The Bundaberg Mail, 18 April 1921.]

Anzac Crosses.

The following lines were written in reference to a special Anzac Service held in a country parish in New South Wales where the nearest relatives of fallen soldiers were asked to make a floral cross and bring it to the church upon Anzac Day. The crosses were first laid before the Altar and after the Requiem were placed round and about the Honour Board.

We bring our floral offerings,
This day of fair renown,
Each cross a loving memory
Of one young life laid down.

Then kneeling at God’s Altar,
We offer praise and prayer
For those no longer with us
Who oft had worshipped there.

Thus, years by year we honour,
The men who fought and fell,
And to the wondering children
Their deeds of valour tell.

Those sons of fair Australia,
Who counted life as nought,
If only through their conflict
The victory might be wrought.

Who, leaving home and country,
And all that men hold dear,
Went boldly forth to battle
Triumphant over fear.

They bore their cross of suffering
Unfaltering to the end,
And nobly gave their life blood
Our honour to defend.

Then, standing in God’s presence
They laid their crosses down
Through death and anguish gaining,
An everlasting crown.

And so, we bring our crosses
And offer praise and prayer,
In sorrow and rejoicing
For each young life so fair.

L.E.H.



Source:
The Bundaberg Mail (Bundaberg, Qld.), 18 April 1921, p. 4

Also published in:
Darling Downs Gazette (Toowoomba, Qld.), 19 April 1921, p. 5
The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld.), 19 April 1921, p. 8
The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld.), 23 April 1921, p. 11

Editor’s notes:
Honour Board = a commemorative board upon which is written the names of people who have distinguished themselves or who have in some way earned the honour of having their names recorded (also known as an “honours board”)

oft = often

requiem = a song, chant, dirge, piece of music, or musical service, especially of a mournful nature and slow, used for a funeral, memorial, or commemoration, for the repose (peaceful rest) of the souls of the dead (especially regarding Christian ceremonies for the dead); a lamentation for the dead; a requiem mass for the repose of the souls of the dead

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