Will they never fade or pass!
The mud, and the misty figures endlessly coming in through the foul morass,
And the grey flood-water ripping the reeds and grass,
And the steel wings drumming.
The hills are bright in the sun:
There’s nothing changed or marred in the well-known places;
When work for the day is done
There’s talk, and quiet laughter, and gleams of fun on the old folks’ faces.
I have returned to these:
The farm, and the kindly bush, and the young calves lowing;
But all that my mind sees is a quaking bog in a mist – stark, snapped trees,
And the dark Somme flowing.Vance Palmer “When the Australians came to France, the French people expected a great deal of you…We knew that you would fight a real fight, but we did not know that from the very beginning you would astonish the whole continent… I shall go back tomorrow and say to my countrymen: I have seen theAustralians. I have looked in their faces. I know that these men will fight alongside of us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children.”
French Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau
7 July 1918