Lest We Forget…

Poppy field

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Robert Laurence Binyon [1869-1943]

(Written following the retreat from Mons and the victory of the Marne)

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – “We will remember them” – And, we will remember every soldier across the world who has since given their life for their country.


9 thoughts on “Lest We Forget…

  1. Not all that long ago, really, in the grand scheme of things…a sobering thought. We do have the poppies here, too. The Veterans of Foreign Wars make paper ones and give them in exchange for donations, but it seems less common now than in my childhood, and I wonder how many people really know what it’s for. (“Those who do not know the past are condemned to repeat it”?) My mother had to learn “Flanders Field” in school and can still recite it.

Comments are closed.