The Quarterly Journal of
The Great War Society

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From the Relevance Archive

from Vol. 1, Num. 1, Winter 1992

An meinen gefallen Bruder

by Wolfgang Moeller

Translated by Patrick Hinchy, Manager of the 1991 TGWS Battlefield Tour

First read by Patrick at Langemarck German Cemetery, Ypres Salient,
September 19, 1991.

To My Brother Killed in Battle

   What are you now?  A pear tree or a beech tree,
   A birch grove or a little ivy leaf?
   My brother, I am looking for you, looking
   For what it is that God has changed you to.

   Is your spirit present in some form?
   Is it a living form or inanimate?
   I will love it in whatever form I find it.
   Even in stone, it will seem familiar to me.

   Perhaps a blade of grass, some lilac blossom.
   Whatever you are now, I'll ask the sun
   To make completely golden with his fire
   You, through every being which resembles you.

   I'll have compassion on the little beetle
   That struggles upwards out of your grave.
   I'll embrace the wooden cross and the sand on it,
   And bless the bird that sings above it.

   But if you're now a thought, and if in thinking it,
   I could transcend the limits of the earth,
   Then I would want to immerse myself in it so deeply
   That I found you once again in God's presence.

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