[Editor: This poem, by Grace Ethel Martyr (1888-1934), about Armistice Day (later known as Remembrance Day), was published in The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic.), 9 November 1935.]
By Ethel Martyr
From far away the dying drone of drums
In fading faint reverberation comes,
Descending silent from the battle-place,
March grave-eyed men, who bear the trophies won
In slow procession, with averted face
From banners burning brightly in the sun
And all the pitiable spoils of war.
From death they pass our watching eyes before.
Within the valley’s cool, sequestered shade,
They learn the lovely lesson, long delayed,
That life is sweet, and true it is that bees
Love hawthorn bloom, that dawn has rosy wings,
And birds trill day long in the friendly trees,
And nestle nightly there with twitterings.
Assured of peace, courageously to toil
They turn, to plan, and build, and plant the soil.
In faith and patience through successive springs,
Their sowings are of strong and splendid things,
And now upon life’s fruitful lands arise
The sturdy products of their husbandry.
Truth, service, loyalty delight the eyes,
And pledge a richer growth in years to be,
Like stately trees with spreading boughs. For them
The branches bud, the blossom stars the stem.
O rest you, soldiers, for the sun is low.
Your tillage leave, and we will plant and sow.
Your courage, faith, and hope shall never die.
Faith was your sowing in the harvest field,
And peace your planting when the sun was high,
And now, as dusk is falling, peace the yield.
Virtue, like perfume, drifts, and, dimly seen,
Above hangs swelling fruit among the green.
[This was the last poem written — in 1934 — by the late Miss Ethel Martyr, whose fine work in verse and prose appeared frequently for a number of years in “The Australasian.”]
The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic.), 9 November 1935 (Metropolitan Edition), p. 48
yield = the amount or quantity of product derived from a farm or an area of land (regarding a quantity of crops, or a number of animals); the amount of money or profit produced by an investment; a return, profit, or product yielded by cultivation, labour, or investment