Madras War Cemetery

Save where some solitary column mourns
Above its prostrate brethren of the cave;
Save where Tritonia's airy shrine adorns
Colonna's cliff, and gleams along the wave;
Save o'er some warrior's half-forgotten grave,
Where the grey stones and unmolested grass
Ages, but not oblivion, feebly brave,
While strangers only not regardless pass,
Lingering like me, perchance, to gaze, and sigh 'Alas!'
madras-war-cemetery-cwgc
madras-war-memorial-cwgc
From flashing scimitar to secret knife,
War mouldeth there each weapon to his need— 
So may he guard the sister and the wife,
So may he make each curst oppressor bleed, 
So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed!
So perish monuments of mortal birth, 
So perish all in turn, save well-recorded worth;
madras-war-memorial-cwgc-wall
And thus they plod in sluggish misery,
Rotting from sire to son, and age to age, 
Proud of their trampled nature, and so die,
Bequeathing their hereditary rage
To the new race of inborn slaves, who wage
War for their chains, and rather than be free,
Bleed gladiator-like, and still engage
Within the same arena where they see
Their fellows fall before, like leaves of the same tree.
madras-cwgc-war-memorial
chennai-war-memorial-cwgc
Flows there a tear of pity for the dead?
Look o'er the ravage of the reeking plain:
Look on the hands with female slaughter red;
Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain,
Then to the vulture let each corse remain;
Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird's maw,
Let their bleached bones, and blood's unbleaching stain,
Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe:
Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw!
What gallant war-hounds rouse them from their lair,
And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey!
All join the chase, but few the triumph share:
The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away,
And Havoc scarce for joy can cumber their array.

  1. All photographs were shot with Nikon D3100, 35 mm 1.8 and iPhone 5.
  2. Quotes are from "Child Harold's Pilgrimage", the magnum opus of Lord Byron (if you haven't read Byron, I most passionately recommend you do)