Monday, October 25, 2010

"I. M. Draza Mihailovich (Murdered July 18, 1946)" - A Poem by British Poet L. Aaronson (1917-1948)

Aleksandra's Note:  A special thanks to Mr. David Vuich who shared this powerful poem with me. I had never seen or read this before. The poem, "I. M. Draza Mihailovich (Murdered July 18, 1946)" by British poet L. Aaronson, though written a long time ago, resonates today in even more ways than the poet probably intended when he penned this tribute to "the brave Serbian" who became a martyr on July 18, 1946.


Aleksandra Rebic


Where are the thunderers who once could speak

The Language of the Prophets, when the weak

Were broken and the good oppressed? Where are those

Whose words were cleansing fire, till there arose

The phoenix-armies from the martyrs' dust

To make the word the deed, oppose the lust

Of tyrants and proclaim the prophets true?

Where is the gratitude our fathers knew

And santuary and penance for wrong power?

Did Milton fail the martyrs, Gladstone cower

Before the ruthless? Was the public pen

Careful of epithet? And public men --

Were they afraid to say: "Alas we erred

And now confess our error. Let the word

Go out, perhaps to save a soul and save

Our souls"? Today the coward and the knave

Are kings. These are mean times. If it be doom,

Our tongues, at least, are free and there is room

For utterance that salves us if not saves.

Why should we ape the silence of graves?

And even these have epitaphs as tongues.

Since power is dumb before the powerful wrongs

Let one small voice salute the Serbian.

With shame at first, then prayer for that brave man.

L. Aaronson
July 1946


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