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For the fallen

In most ceremonies of remembrance there is a reading of an appropriate poem designed to help the listener understand the experiences of service people and their relatives in wartime.

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 glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young, 
Straight of limb, true of eyes, 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 daytime, 
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires and 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 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.

        - Written by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Last updated
23 January 2018
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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