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Poem by Katharine Tynan
Joining the Colours
THERE they go marching all in step so gay! Smooth-cheeked and golden, food for shells and guns. Blithely they go as to a wedding day, The mothers' sons. The drab street stares to see them row on row On the high tram-tops, singing like the lark. Too careless-gay for courage, singing they go Into the dark. With tin whistles, mouth-organs, any noise, They pipe the way to glory and the grave; Foolish and young, the gay and golden boys Love cannot save. High heart! High courage! The poor girls they kissed Run with them : they shall kiss no more, alas! Out of the mist they stepped-into the mist Singing they pass.
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