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I want to tell you of a dream that came to me one night;
I dreamed I saw a monument, an arch of purest white,
The purest, whitest arch atop the longest marble wall;
I saw when I moved closer that it bore no words at all.
I heard a sound behind me; as I turned, I caught my breath;
I saw a hooded figure and I knew that it was Death.
"Do you like my piece of sculpture? Let me tell you what it's for;
It's just one more memorial to those who die in war.
It's just one more memorial, like those in every town;
Once a year, you honour them; you stand with heads bowed down
In remembrance of the sacrifice of those who won't come back
From Paschendael, Gallipolli, Vietnam and Iraq.
And so," he said, "this monument, as yet it bears no text;
A monument remembering the war that's coming next.
You'll come here and you'll read the names and touch the ones you know;
If ever you remembered... ...you'd never let them go.
Look beside the wall; see, there's a mason standing by
To carve the names of sons and daughters sent away to die.
If ever you remembered, he'd not carve 'lest we forget'...
If ever you remembered, but you've not remembered yet."
I woke and Death was gone, and I swore that very night
That I would build a monument, an arch of purest white;
The purest, whitest arch atop the longest marble wall,
And strive for all my life to see it bears no words at all.