Everyone and his brother is better at Googling than I am.
I was putting in the whole “line,” as I remembered it. Actually, the text I
gave is broken across two lines, and this accounts for the no-hit on Google
A Google on “+softly +centuries +fall +civilized” does the trick. The poem
is “Raiders’ Dawn” by the Welsh WW2 soldier-poet Alun Lewis.
Here is the poem.
Here is some bio on Lewis.
Many thanks to all who helped.
Be nice to think that the old soldier-poet tradition is still alive, and
that some of our fighting guys in Iraq and Afghanistan are putting their
thoughts into verse.