Published in Memories
and Other Verses, June 1991.
|THE OLD DIGGER
In Hyde Park, I saw him, on Anzac Day,
With his rheumy eyes and his hair of iron grey;
A walking stick held in his gnarled old hand;
Alone in the crowd, I saw him stand.
Time had taken it's toll, he found it hard to cope,
But in his eyes there still lingered a spark of hope.
Then came the sound of a bugle call;
A compelling stillness came over all;
As the plaintive notes of the Last Post fell,
He stood to attention and who could tell,
The memories that flooded the old digger's mind
As he thought of his mates, he had left behind.
My eyes filled with tears, my heart twisted with pain;
In memory, I was living those war years again;
I saw the young diggers, so bronze and so tall
Who had loyally answered their country's call;
So proudly they marched, in the vigour of youth
For each had faced up to his moment of truth.
Then once again came the bugle sound
As the notes of Reville soared high o'er the ground,
Back to the present, I came with a start,
To find I and the digger had become as one heart;
For I, too, felt old and unable to cope;
Then his eyes flashed to me his message of hope;
When time comes for that digger to leave this sphere
And the Last Post for him sounds so loud and so clear,
He knows this will not be the end of it all,
For Reville will also triumphantly call,
And he will meet Christian friends from long ago
In that land free from pain where no teardrops flow.
I'm so glad that 1 saw him that Anzac Day,
That gallant old digger with his hair of iron grey,
And though no conversation between us took place,
I could read that message of hope on his f ace;
For as sure as the Last Post for him will play,
So Reville will rouse him to a bright day.