Celebrating the War Poets of World War One
Ewart Alan Mackintosh
Born in Brighton but with Scottish roots, Mackintosh was a War Poet and soldier in the Seaforth Highlanders.
He was killed in action on the second day of the Battle of Cambrai , 17 November 1917 and was buried in the Orival Wood Cemetery near Flesquières in northern France.
Out of the womb of time and dust of the years forgotten,
Spirit and fire enclosed in mutable flesh and bone,
Came by a road unknown the thing that is me for ever,
The lonely soul of a man that stands by itself alone.
This is the right of my race, the heritage won by my fathers.
Theirs by the years of fighting, theirs by the price they paid,
Making a son like them, careless of hell or heaven,
A man that can look in the face of the gods and be not afraid.
Poor and weak is my strength and I cannot war against heaven.
Strong, too strong are the gods; but there is one thing that I can
Claim like a man unshamed, the full reward of my virtues,
Pay like a man the price for the sins I sinned as a man.
Now is the time of trial, the end of the years of fighting,
And the echoing gates roll back on the country I cannot see
If it be life that waits I shall live for ever unconquered.
If death I shall die at last strong in my pride and free.
Vimy Ridge, 1916
E. Alan Mackintosh
The first two lines of this poem were used on the Scottish American War Memorial when it was constructed in 1927 and are written on a frieze on the back