a poem by Dave Varnom, UK

The Dying Ember.

For whom now do the golden rays,
Of daybreak light our land?
Rekindling memories of yesterday,
When we freely roamed the sand.
For who now stands and greets the sun,
With song and prayer aloud?
And stays so still until he’s done,
His listening fathers proud.

And to whom now does the west wind talk,
As he sweeps across the plain?
Where long ago, we used to walk,
But never will again.
For who now has the mind to hear,
His haunting whispered tone?
As it echoes empty through the years,
Forever now alone.

And for whom now does the eagle cry,
If surely not for us?
Whose flesh and bones now loosely lie,
Beneath the arid dust.
For who now lifts his head and sees,
His timeless soaring flight?
Majestic on a summer breeze,
Or through a moon-lit night.

And for whom now do the buffalo graze,
Upon the prairie grass?
Like ghosts appearing through the haze,
Spectres from the past.
For who now joins the chase and fires,
Arrows at their ranks?
And on taking all that he desires,
Will give their spirits thanks.

And for whom now do the mountains guard,
This ancient land of ours?
Whose rocky heights, so cold and hard,
Were once so full of power.
For who now’ll climb the scared hills,
And breathe the mystic air?
And with arms up stretched, and standing still,
Will chant one final prayer.

And for whom now is our history,
Our legends and our ways,
The magic and the mystery,
Kept alive today?
For who now will remember,
His lost forgotten brother,
And will grieve the dying ember,
Like a child will grieve his mother.

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