"This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin
Handed the German Government a final note
Stating that unless we heard from them by 11 o'clock
That they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland
A state of war would exist between us
I have to tell you that no such undertaking has been received
And that consequently this country is at war with Germany"
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons
No mockeries now for them from prayers or bells
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells
And bugles calling for them from sad shires
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of their goodbyes
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds
Oh! We, who have known shame, we have found release there
Where there's no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath
Nothing to shake the laughing heart's long peace there
But only agony, and that has ending
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death
"You can imagine what a bitter blow it is to me
That all my long struggle to win peace has failed
But now that we have resolved to finish it
I know that you will all play your part
With calmness and courage"