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Poem for the Day

Posted: 10 November 2013

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae

Haiku for a Sunday Morning #9 Armistice Sunday, 10 Nov 2013

Posted: 10 November 2013

And the countries called,
Seductive heroism,
And the young men came.

And their mothers sang
Songs of woe, Lieder von Leid.
And the young men served.

And the people wept,
Tears a universal tongue,
As the young men died.

Bill Adair

Poem for the Day

Posted: 9 November 2013

Under the level winter sky
I saw a thousand Christs go by.
They sang an idle song and free
As they went up to Calvary.

Careless of eye and coarse of lip,
They marched in holiest fellowship.
That heaven might heal the world, they gave
Their earth-born dreams to deck the grave.

With souls unpurged and steadfast breath
They supped the sacrament of death.
And for each one, far off, apart,
Seven swords have rent a woman's heart.

Marching Men
Marjorie Pickthall

 

Poem for the Day

Posted: 8 November 2013

See them marching to the railway in their uniforms and boots,
Self-conscious with their rifles, they’re the army’s new recruits.
Wives, already distant, see their husbands’ awkward stance,
But we cheered them into carriages and sang them off to France,

The day before they left we had a party in the hall,
With dancing to the parish band and plenty beer for all.
The country needs you, lads, we said, we’re proud of everyone,
We’ll build a land that’s fit for heroes on the day you all come home.

There’s no music on a battlefield except for pipes and drums,
That tells you when it’s time to charge and man the Lewis gun.
There’s no music on a battlefield but that which says advance,
And at the village victory ball, dead soldiers’ wives don’t dance.

Some say they charged and conquered there, and to a man they stood,
Some say they crouched like beggars, but still giving all they could.
Some mad with thirst, some mad with pain, some crushed beneath the sand,
Some blind, some lame, some just insane, some lost in no-man’s land.

And death poured down from Heaven, and it roared across the ground,
Its stench in every nostril, its voice in every sound.
And he who seemed the strongest there wept like a stricken child,
Betrayed in godless trenches, abandoned and defiled.

There’s no music on a battlefield except for pipes and drums,
That tells you when it’s time to charge and man the Lewis gun.
There’s no music on a battlefield but that which says advance,
And at the village victory ball, dead soldiers’ wives don’t dance.

Dead Soldiers' Wives Don't Dance
Bill Adair

Poem for the Day

Posted: 7 November 2013

The Garden called Gethsemane
In Picardy it was,
And there the people came to see
The English soldiers pass.
We used to pass - we used to pass
Or halt, as it might be,
And ship our masks in case of gas
Beyond Gethsemane.

The Garden called Gethsemane,
It held a pretty lass,
But all the time she talked to me
I prayed my cup might pass.
The officer sat on the chair,
The men lay on the grass,
And all the time we halted there
I prayed my cup might pass.

It didn't pass - it didn't pass -
It didn't pass from me.
I drank it when we met the gas
Beyond Gethsemane.

Gethsemane 1914 - 1918
Rudyard Kipling

496-500 of 841 blog entries

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