HE DIED IN FRANCE
Helen M. Richardson.
In sunny France a nameless unmarked grave
O’ergrown by poppies, matined by the birds,
Proclaims the resting place of one who fell
That earth its liberty might still retain.
Ununiformed, unhelmeted he went,
No thought of well-earned glory for a shield.
In sunny France, unmourned his body lies,
He knew not why he went; at man’s behest
He fared him forth upon that summer day
Caparisoned with naught but faithful love
For one who companied him upon the way,
Amid the deafening roar of bursting shells
And smoke that blurred his vision he went down
And left his rider to escape unharmed.
A horse—you say; –but when a human life
Is save what matters that a horse should fall!
I say it is a hero’s grave that hides
Beneath the poppies red in sunny France,
He fell as falls the man behind the gun,
With no less courage in his faithful heart
May he not claim his recompense, perchance,
When angels pass the words, — he died in France?
Chris Woodyard is the author of The Victorian Book of the Dead, The Ghost Wore Black, The Headless Horror, The Face in the Window, and the 7-volume Haunted Ohio series. She is also the chronicler of the adventures of that amiable murderess Mrs Daffodil in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales. The books are available in paperback and for Kindle. Indexes and fact sheets for all of these books may be found by searching hauntedohiobooks.com. Join her on FB at Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard or The Victorian Book of the Dead.