An epitaph at the
entrance to Newfoundland Memorial Park at Beaumont Hamel composed by John Oxenham
reads as follows:
By John Oxenham
softly here! Go reverently and slow!
Yea, let your soul go down upon its knees,
and, with bowed head and heart abased, strive hard
to grasp the future gain in this sore loss!
For not one foot of this dark sod but drank
its surfeit of the blood of gallant men,
who, for their faith, their hope, - for life and
here made the sacrifice – here gave their lives
and gave right willingly – for you and for me.
From this vast altar-pile the souls of men
sped up to God in countless multitudes;
on this grim cratered ridge they gave their all,
and giving, won
the peace of Heaven and immortality.
Our hearts go out to them in boundless gratitude;
if ours – then God; for his vast charity
all sees, all knows, all comprehends – save bounds,
He had repaid their sacrifice; and we - ?
God help us if we fail to pay our debt
in fullest full and all unstintingly.