The Unknown Soldier by Angela Morgan

He is known to the sun-white Majesties
Who stand at the gates of dawn.
He is known to the cloud-borne company
Whose souls but late have gone.
Like wind-flung stars through lattice bars
They throng to greet their own,
With voice of flame they sound his name
Who died to us unknown.

He is hailed by the time-crowned brotherhood,
By the Dauntless of Marathon,
By Raymond, Godfrey and Lion Heart
Whose dreams he carried on.
His name they call through the heavenly hall
Unheard by earthly ear,
He is claimed by the famed in Arcady
Who knew no title here.

Oh faint was the lamp of Sirius
And dim was the Milky Way.
Oh far was the floor of Paradise
From the soil where the soldier lay.
Oh chill and stark was the crimson dark
Where huddled men lay deep;
His comrades all denied his call
Long had they lain in sleep.

Oh strange how the lamp of Sirius
Drops low to the dazzled eyes,
Oh strange how the steel-red battlefields
Are floors of Paradise.
Oh strange how the ground with never a sound
Swings open, tier on tier,
And standing there in the shining air
Are the friends he cherished here.

They are known to the sun-shod sentinels
Who circle the morning’s door,
They are led by a cloud-bright company
Through paths unseen before.
Like blossoms blown, their souls have flown
Past war and reeking sod,
In the book unbound their names are found
They are known in the courts of God!

Angela Morgan
1875-1957

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About Russell Boyle

Russell Boyle is a mathematics teacher, writer, and poet. His poetry anthologies are titled The Beginning, Footprints and Loneliness. Russell is the author of the Year 7 to 8 Mathematics Short-Answer Tasks, the Year 7 to 10 Mathematics Multiple-Choice Tasks, the Year 9 to 10 Extended-Response Tasks, the solutions to the Year 12 VCAA Mathematics Exams and the Web-Programming For Beginners series of courses. Sample poems and questions may be downloaded from http://russellboyle.com
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2 Responses to The Unknown Soldier by Angela Morgan

  1. cindy knoke says:

    truly moving and so beautifully written!! I learn about a new poet from you all the time. Thank you~

    • russellboyle says:

      I also find Morgan’s poetry to be very moving and beautifully written. I find it surprising that she is less well regarded than many of the other wonderful poets featured on this blog. I’d like to change this, if I can. I normally try to avoid publishing successive poems by the same poet, as I like to offer readers diversity and breadth. But, as a result of your lovely comment, I’m going to break my self-imposed rule. You once remarked on another post how sad it was that so many of the poems written about flowers had been authored by men. Well, here is an exception from Angela Morgan. For me this beautiful poem offers us hope after the horror of war, as Morgan implores us to seek refuge in the beauty of flowers. I hope you like it, Cindy.
      https://russellboyle.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/in-spite-of-war-by-angela-morgan/

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