"Tears" by Edward Thomas is a moving poem on life and death and the philosophy of them, in general, but specifically speaking, it is quite an Owenesque poem about the sad, solitary but often unspoken, unexpressed and definitely unsung mental condition of the soldier.
A poet who fought as a soldier himself, Thomas is often seen as a war-poet in line with Owen, Sassoon and even Ted Hughes, as against the imperialist myth-makers of war e.g. Rupert Brooke.
The poem talks about a state of emotional void beyond tears and the last two instances of crying encapsulate the sad farewell of soldiers and their journey towards death which remains overlooked in a public spectacle of celebration of heroism.
The Dragon faced in the meadows is a symbol of war in all its horrors. The display of honour by a procession of marching soldiers is the second occasion of tear-fall as the poet is able to grasp the untold story of their tears that lies within the apparent glory of it all. These occasions take the emotional self to a state beyond tears and even their ghosts into a condition of absolute solitude and silence.