Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Die Weisse Rose
Munich, 1942–3

Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl,

Alex Morell,

Christl Probst, Willi Graf

—so many years lost

(none more than twenty-five,

Sophie twenty-one.

Kurt Huber was much older

but name him, praise him as well),

promised, unfulfilled

years, years for fun,

years of trouble, good

years, years of dream

and doing, thought and love,

all sheared by a fall

of slanting steel,

gone in a burst of blood.

Yet, against lost years

gone with the white rose

horribly lopped,

the manner of the loss

and all that’s in them lost

(incalculable theirs,

ours much) miraculous gain,

ours, theirs, does remain

—the heaven which Blake’s love

builds in Hell’s despair,

hope in despairing hell

breathed by these good and brave,

Kurt Huber and his children:

Willi Graf, Christl Probst,

Alex Morell, Hans Scholl,

Sophie Scholl.