Memories

“The eradication of memories of the Great War.”    
—SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT ORGAN.
 The Socialist Government speaks: 
 

Though all the Dead were all forgot
         And razed were every tomb,
 The Worm—the Worm that dieth not
   Compels Us to our doom.
 Though all which once was England stands 
   Subservient to Our will, 
 The Dead of whom we washed Our hands,
   They have observance still. 

We laid no finger to Their load.
   We multiplied Their woes.
 We used Their dearly-opened road
   To traffic with Their foes:
 And yet to Them men turn their eyes,
    To Them are vows renewed
 Of Faith, Obedience, Sacrifice,
    Honour and Fortitude! 

Which things must perish. But Our hour
   Comes not by staves or swords
 So much as, subtly, through the power
   Of small corroding words.
 No need to make the plot more plain
   By any open thrust;
 But—see Their memory is slain
   Long ere Their bones are dust! 

Wisely, but yearly, filch some wreath—
   Lay some proud rite aside—
And daily tarnish with Our breath
   The ends for which They died.
 Distract, deride, decry, confuse—
   (Or—if it serve Us—pray!)
 So presently We break the use
    And meaning of Their day!