POEM OF THE DAY
THIS simple but searing text, by the Canadian surgeon John Mccrae, has become one of the most enduring and frequently quoted poems of the First World War. He died of pneumonia before the end of the war.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
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.
Finally, these lines below will ring round churches, memorial parks, and public places throughout Britain this weekend. The two central verses from Laurence Binyon’s For The Fallen celebrate the heroic nature of the First World War’s dead and also their position for all posterity in the minds and affections of their fellow countrymen and women.
from FOR THE FALLEN
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.