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Sunday, 11 November 2012


What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.


G. Tingey said...

And, for those two uncles of mine who came back from the Somme & Cambrai, the second of whom survived the dreaed Burma Railway as well ...

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."

It is getting very late, I think.

Anonymous said...

And in the morning, we should all be grateful for their ultimate and great sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

The good people of this country and the Commonwealth told our politicians something extra yesterday. Not through rhetoric or harsh words, but through turn out. We won't turn out to their pathetic farse called voting, but we will turn out to honour our servicemen and women the world over, hence the highest recorded turnout for the rememberance day.

Coney Island

Span Ows said...

Wilfred Owen, I used the same poem...seemed appropriate!