27472 OCdt (III) Eliza Bruce: The Silence That Awards the Dead

27472 OCdt (III) Eliza Bruce: The Silence That Awards the Dead

The Silence That Awards the Dead

It blew in soft, the wind that heard

The piper’s chant, the warbling bird

Which, perched upon a wooden rung,

Charmed the stillness as it sung

Chilling sweet, its gentle strains

Melded with the wild refrains.

A ripple of kilt, splash of green

And red upon the tartan scene

Over the field of battle cries

Where fought his comrades, there they died

His the song that piped along

Their footsteps to the tread of null.

The piper, lone and hushed he stood

His music  had its own device

And, dancing passed the straggling trees,

Never met the same ears twice.

It drifted calm and sad in tune

But merry, smiles and hearts in one

Lift to guide it safe to its tomb

The piper at rest, that pipes alone.


  • Rory Kilburn

    January 23, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Wow! Although this wasn’t the initial phrase that came to mind. I was walking one morning in April 1989 on No Mans Land of Beaumont Hamel. A piper began playing near the RNR monument, and combined with the fog on the battlefield, a most eerie feeling came over me – and indeed another soldier (R22eR). We looked back to see the Newfoundland Caribou rising out of the mist, but could see little else. Eliza captures perfectly the feelings I experienced that morning.

    And that, in my opinion, is what great poetry does. Many thanks for this one.
    11099 Rory G Kilburn